Elena Gremigni, Disuguaglianze di opportunità educative e higher education. Orientamento e dispositivi di riproduzione sociale nell’accesso all’istruzione terziaria in Italia

This paper firstly aims to provide a brief history of the paths to access higher education in Italy and to show the persistence of different educational opportunity inequalities in the country. Through an analysis of the available data and a synthesis of the main contributions on the subject, it is explained how in recent years, alongside the research inspired by the “rational action theory” or “choice theory”, studies employing a conceptual apparatus of Bourdieusian origin have assumed an important explanatory function. In particular, it is pointed out how different forms of habitus offer interesting interpretations of the social reproduction mechanisms that still preclude many low SES students from higher education, or orient many others of them towards less prestigious academic paths. In conclusion, after highlighting how social advantages are transformed into formative advantages, which in turn produce further social advantages, thus reproducing the structures of existing social relations, different strategies to break this vicious circle are discussed.

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