Ylva Bergström

Preparing for higher education, navigating in a polarised landscape. Upper secondary students transnational strategies and outlooks on higher education in Sweden

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Upper Secondary Education; Access to Higher Education; Sociology of Education; Transnational Strategies; Bourdieu.

The aim of this article is to analyse the social and cultural conditions for upper secondary students' access to higher education and ability to navigate in the complex national and international educational markets: what are elite students' dispositions towards higher education and what resources do students with differing dispositions rely upon in shaping their choices. The article draws on a statistical mapping of the social structure of upper secondary schools and programmes and its intersection with higher education in the city region of Stockholm and on interviews, conducted among students in educational programmes preparing for higher education at four prestigious public upper secondary schools in Stockholm the academic year 2013-2014. The increasingly complex landscape give advantage to especially resourceful social groups. Not only the cultural fractions of the upper middle classes, who benefits from their close relationship to the educational system and knowledge in how to choose proper and successful educational trajectories, profits from the marketization of education. The emerging internationalization of education rifts an already complex educational landscape further apart. The accumulation of international educational capital is much more dependent on economic capital than on cultural acquisitions, due to the expensive costs of the kind of experiences it suppose.

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