Cover of Stratification in Higher Education by Edited by Yossi Shavit, Richard Arum, and Adam Gamoran
Stratification in Higher Education
A Comparative Study
Edited by Yossi Shavit, Richard Arum, and Adam Gamoran

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2007
504 pp.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804754620
Paper ISBN: 9780804771528

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The mass expansion of higher education is one of the most important social transformations of the second half of the twentieth century. In this book, scholars from 15 countries, representing Western and Eastern Europe, East Asia, Israel, Australia, and the United States, assess the links between this expansion and inequality in the national context.

Contrary to most expectations, the authors show that as access to higher education expands, all social classes benefit. Neither greater diversification nor privatization in higher education results in greater inequality. In some cases, especially where the most advantaged already have significant access to higher education, opportunities increase most for persons from disadvantaged origins. Also, during the late twentieth century, opportunities for women increased faster than those for men. Offering a new spin on conventional wisdom, this book shows how all social classes benefit from the expansion of higher education.

About the author

Yossi Shavit is Professor of Sociology at Tel Aviv University and Head of the B. I. and Lucille Cohen Institute for Public Opinion Research. Richard Arum is Professor of Sociology and Education at New York University. Adam Gamoran is Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies and Director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"This book represents a very important source of scholars interested in the effects of education on inequality."

Lancaster University

"Each of these findings is far more variable and nuanced than a short summary can suggest. The case studies then increase our understanding of the interaction among all these variables... This work is so engrossing and enlightening that... [i]f the findings presented here were to be carefully studied, thought through and applied to changes in our postsecondary systems, a welcome drop in inequality might result."

Canadian Journal of Sociology

"This book is likely to serve as a watershed. It represents the first incorporation of labor market datasets from 15 countries (Israel, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Australia, the Czech Republic, and Italy) to test a common set of propositions... This book provides strong evidence for supporting the expansion of higher education on the traditional grounds of providing social opportunity. Expanding the "educational pie" is an equalizing force, and neither private financing nor diversity in purpose and quality is inconsistent with inclusion and social equity. This creative and insightful analysis should become standard reading in all programs of higher education concerned with expansion and social equity."

Review of Higher Education

"This book provides rich details about the institutional arrangements, history, and issues related to funding and access in higher education systems throughout the industrialized world. Its comprehensive comparative analysis of major changes occurring in higher education everywhere offers insights into stratification and educational expansion that will provoke debate and spark future research." —Claudia Buchmann, The Ohio State University

"This volume provides a model of conceptually rich and methodologically rigorous analyses of the expansion of higher education and its implications for social outcomes. It represents collaborative research at its best. The insights generated by this research suggest social policies that should further broaden access to higher education."

—Maureen T. Hallinan, Director, Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, University of Notre Dame