School Segregation and Social Cohesion in Santiago

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Molina, Andres (2018) School Segregation and Social Cohesion in Santiago. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Segregation is a common feature of schooling in many modern systems. Children become separated along social lines in the schools they attend and the programs they access not only due to the influence of residential segregation but also to the effects of policies promoting privatisation, parental choice and student selection. The effects of educational segregation have largely been understood in terms of the negative effects on learning outcomes of disadvantaged students attending the most segregated schools. However, to what extent does segregation work to undermine social cohesion and social and economic integration? How does segregation affect the values, outlooks, dispositions and attitudes of students related to social cohesion? Using data from the International Study of City Youth, this study sets out to examine this issue through the outlooks of 10th grade students in Santiago, Chile. It uses the data to explore the association between social segregation and measures of quality of school learning environments, academic achievement, social and emotional skills, work and study plans, and student skills and dispositions towards social cohesion such as civic engagement and trust in others and institutions. The results show that in a highly segmented educational system like Santiago, and after more than 30 years of free market policies, the levels of social segregation in the secondary school system are associated with unequal opportunities for accessing economic security, and for developing the values, attitudes and dispositions that are necessary for social cohesion. The study reveals that social segregation can undermine social cohesion not only by reproducing educational inequalities, but also by diminishing the capacity of schools to provide rich socialization processes that can foster the habits of democratic citizenship and the formation of shared views and values.

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Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords segregation; schooling; education; social cohesion; social integration; economic integration; Santiago; Chile; social segregation; inequalities
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