Utbildningskapital : Om hur det alstras, fördelas och förmedlas

Sammanfattning: The focus of this thesis is on how educational capital is generated, distributed, and transmitted. Two of the most resource-rich regions in Sweden are investigated: Uppsala—wealthy in educational capital—and the northern part of Stockholm where economic capital predominates.The tools, the most significant concepts—e.g. educational capital—and the explanatory models used, are drawn from Pierre Bourdieu’s research. Statistical methods include geometrical data analysis (specific multiple correspondence analysis and Euclidean classification). The empirical material consists of data from Statistics Sweden on all grade-nine leavers in 1988 with information on their educational trajectory and their parents’ social properties, and of interviews with pupils in Uppsala and students attending elite institutions of higher education in Stockholm.The distribution of the students’ assets displays similar patterns in the two investigated regions. Students with significant inherited resources were the most successful in converting their assets into educational capital of their own. A gendered opposition was observed between, on the one hand, studies of French and the Humanities, and, on the other, studies of German and technology. A third dimension consisted of a polarity between a social elite and a more meritocratic one.The interviews underline the crucial importance of the elite schools in generating educational capital. They also show that the parents of these students transfer to them a “natural” willingness to invest in education and to be very selective in their choices. It is thus not a paradox that those individuals who are able to choose virtually freely—that is, the children of the “education elite”—end up making their selection from a very limited set of educational possibilities. It is only logical that the higher the concentration of educational capital held by a group, the more efficiently are new volumes generated, and the more valuable, consequently, is that concentrated good.