Lògiques d’accés escolar i processos de segregació social. Implicacions en el terreny de les desigualtats educatives

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


This doctoral dissertation approaches, from a sociological perspective, to the implications of the dynamics of school segregation in terms of educational inequalities. It is based on a compilation of publications (five articles and a book chapter). Some of the papers refer to the causes of school segregation, others to its effects and one of them to policies of school access. The analysis focuses on processes of school segregation according to students’ socioeconomic characteristics, specially to their family’s educational capital. In a first stage, (unequal) logics of school choice among families are addressed, as being one of the main causes of school segregation. Through qualitative and quantitative approaches, this dissertation deals with the existing “objective” inequalities during school choice processes according to families’ educational background and countries of origin. Moreover, practises and discourses of these families are also analysed, paying special attention to the prevalence of school educational projects and school social composition as important factors in choice practices. This study was developed in Barcelona. In a second stage, some of the effects of school segregation on academic results are introduced in the analysis through an analytical proposal based on aggregate effects of “composition effect” (it is the weight of school social composition on students results). By means of the simulation of two hypothetical scenarios (a segregated one, on the one hand; and a desegregated, on the other), it is analysed the conditional impact of the decrease of school segregation on school equity and excellence. This simulation is applied to Catalonia, Spain and other OECD countries, where PISA data are available. Finally, research focuses on school zoning and its effects on school segregation. Using data from several Catalan cities, it has been possible to identify the impact of different models of school zoning on the distribution of students among schools. Altogether, this PhD dissertation offers a multidimensional approach to the school segregation phenomenon, raising the visibility of existing inequalities during school access and pointing negative effects of school segregation on educational equity. Moreover, it identifies the possible scope for moving forward one of the basic principles of school system: equal educational opportunities.
Date of Award26 Sept 2017
Original languageCatalan
Awarding Institution
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
SupervisorMiguel Angel Alegre Canosa (Director), Raquel Gallego-Calderón (Tutor) & Isaac Gonzalez Balletbo (Director)


  • School segregation
  • Educational inequalities
  • Sociology of education

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