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Social Stratification in Higher Education


by Eric Grodsky & Erika Jackson 2009

Background/Context: Over the past half century, scholars in a variety of fields have contributed to our understanding of the relationship between higher education and social stratification. We review this literature, highlighting complementarities and inconsistencies.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: We situate our review of the literature on inequality and higher education in the context of a behavioral model of postsecondary participation that takes into account the actions of both students and institutions.

Conclusions/Recommendations: We recommend that researchers continue to engage in cross-disciplinary dialogues around challenges in postsecondary research and policy, advocate for an increase in the use of experimental designs, and encourage the development of linkages across administrative data sets. We also recommend that future research improve the alignment among behavioral theories, proposed interventions, study design, and analytic techniques.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 111 Number 10, 2009, p. 2347-2384
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15713, Date Accessed: 10/26/2014 12:20:18 AM

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About the Author
  • Eric Grodsky
    University of Minnesota
    E-mail Author
    ERIC GRODSKY is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include social stratification and educational policy at the secondary and postsecondary levels. His recent publications include work with Rob Warren on high school exit exams (appearing in Educational Policy and Sociology of Education) and with Demetra Kalogrides on affirmative action (appearing in the American Journal of Education).
  • Erika Jackson
    University of California, Davis
    ERIKA JACKSON is a graduate student in the department of sociology at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include social stratification, educational policy, and early childhood education. Erika has recently coauthored an article with Eric Grodsky and Rob Warren in the Annual Review of Sociology and a book chapter with Michal Kurlaender in Realizing Bakke's Legacy: Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Access to Higher Education.
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