chapter  8
29 Pages

Socioeconomic inequalities in education II: Theoretical explanations

Although there is much agreement that socioeconomic background influences education, there is little consensus on how socioeconomic background matters. It is implausible that socioeconomic gradients in education exist because high-status parents are better at directly teaching their children the school curricula. Parents may be able to provide some direct assistance, but very few parents, no matter their education, occupation or income can effectively instruct their children across the range of subjects in senior or even middle secondary school. Invariably, explanations of socioeconomic inequalities in education posit indirect mechanisms, involving combinations of economic, cultural and social factors, usually emphasizing particular influences and social processes.