Social inequality and educational decisions over the life course: An educational sociology perspective

Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Gwendolin Josephine Blossfeld, Pia Nicoletta Blossfeld


Based on sociological theories and selected empirical research findings, this article aims to outline how families influence their children’s educational opportunities from a life-course perspective. The focus of this contribution is on the so-called primary, secondary and tertiary effects of social origin. The results show that so­cial background is still one of the most important factors that influences educational opportunities of students in Germany. The influence of social origin on educational careers is cumulative. Across cohorts, the impact of social background on educational opportunities seems to be relatively stable.


Social inequality; Educational decisions; Life course; Educational sociology

Full Text:

PDF (Deutsch)

Copyright Waxmann 2009-2018 - Imprint
Journal for Educational Research Online/Journal für Bildungsforschung Online (ISSN 1866-6671)