Horizontal Stratification in Access to Danish University Programmes

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Abstract

In this paper, we use register data to examine horizontal stratification within university institutions and university fields of study in Denmark, a country that has experienced a reduction of the social class gap in access to higher education. First, we argue that it is important to use a relatively detailed classification of parents’ occupations to determine how students are endowed with different forms of capital, even when their parents would typically be characterised as belonging to the same social group. Second, we distinguish among disciplines and among university institutions to explain the dynamics of horizontal stratification in the Danish university system. Using unique and exhaustive register data, including all higher education institutions and the entire 1984 cohort as of the age of 24, we uncover distinct differences in the magnitude and type of horizontal stratification in different fields of study and university institutions. Most importantly, we find distinct patterns of horizontal stratification by field of study and parental occupation that would have remained hidden had we used more aggregated classifications for field of study and social origin.

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Detaljer

In this paper, we use register data to examine horizontal stratification within university institutions and university fields of study in Denmark, a country that has experienced a reduction of the social class gap in access to higher education. First, we argue that it is important to use a relatively detailed classification of parents’ occupations to determine how students are endowed with different forms of capital, even when their parents would typically be characterised as belonging to the same social group. Second, we distinguish among disciplines and among university institutions to explain the dynamics of horizontal stratification in the Danish university system. Using unique and exhaustive register data, including all higher education institutions and the entire 1984 cohort as of the age of 24, we uncover distinct differences in the magnitude and type of horizontal stratification in different fields of study and university institutions. Most importantly, we find distinct patterns of horizontal stratification by field of study and parental occupation that would have remained hidden had we used more aggregated classifications for field of study and social origin.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftActa Sociologica
Volume/Bind61
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)50-78
Antal sider29
ISSN0001-6993
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2018
PublikationsartForskning
Peer reviewJa

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