'The best school for my child?' Positions, dispositions and inequalities in school choice in the city of Barcelona

Miquel Àngel Alegre, Ricard Benito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article deals with the discourses and practices employed by families involved in school choice processes in the city of Barcelona (Spain). It draws upon a study conducted by the authors in 2008/09, and it is based on surveys completed by a representative sample made up of 3245 families, as well as 60 in-depth interviews with families with children at the age of commencing universal pre-primary education (three years old). Firstly, the article focuses on the types of concerns and pressures that families experience when choosing a school for their child. Secondly, we analyse the level and type of knowledge that parents have at their disposal about the field of school choice, as well as how they use and benefit from available information channels. Finally, we identify three unequal positions in which families find themselves when negotiating the field of school choice: 'maximising', 'guaranteeing' and 'displaced'. These positions are, in turn, directly related to families' locations in the social structure, which are also unequal. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-871
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

Keywords

  • educational inequalities
  • family strategies
  • parental education
  • school access
  • school choice

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