Learning, Equality and Social Cohesion
Presentation for Belgian EU Presidency Conference on
‘Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage’
Gent, 28.9.10
Andy Green
Director of ESRC-LLAKES Centre
Institute of Education
University of London
Education and State Formation
National Education systems developed in 19th C. Europe as a
vehicle of state formation:
•
•
•
•
•
Spreading dominant national languages
Promoting national/state identity
Inculcating the dominant ideologies
Forming citizens
Explaining the ways of the state to the people and the duties of
the people to the state
However, schools socialised children into future adult roles in
class/gender specific ways.
Social Reproduction
• The NES broadened access to schooling , first through universalising
elementary education and then through extending access to the
subsequent phases.
• But schooling has also reproduced existing class structures,
transferring education advantages and disadvantages between
generations.
• Typically, during the 20th C., as each phase of education became
democratised, so the elites retained their advantages through
domination of the next phase of education (now post-graduate study).
• Schools have legitimated this reproduction of inequality through their
ostensibly meritocratic modes of operation.
Cross-Country Differences
However, National education systems vary
substantially in how they distribute educational
achievements.
More egalitarian education systems tend to
contribute to more equal distributions of adult
incomes and also promote more social
cohesion.
Structure of Presentation
The first part of the presentation examines the extent and
causes of cross-country variations in education equality.
The second part examines the impact of educational
inequality on various aspects of social cohesion
The third part assesses the different forms (regimes) of
social cohesion found in different regions and country
groups, their current vulnerabilities, and the implications
of this for education.
Variations across Systems in Inequality
of Educational Outcomes.
•
PISA provides international data using different measures of educational inequality.
•
This analysis groups countries by types of education systems (based on common
and distinguishing education system characteristics):
-
‘Anglo’- English-speaking countries;
-
‘Germanic ‘– German-speaking countries and countries proximate to them which
have selective secondary systems (including Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg);
-
Southern Europe
-
Nordics Countries;
-
East Asia (Japan and South Korea only)
•
For simplicity I take the averages for all countries in a groups
Average Variation in Science by Country Group in PISA
2006
130
124.55
113.55
110
106.85
99.8
94.8
94.575
Nordic
S. Europe
90
70
50
US, UK
Anglo
Germanic
E. Asia
Percentage of Within Country Variance in Science Scores Explained
by PISA ESCS Index by Average for Country Group
20
17.98
15.9
15
13.87
13.4
9.6
10
7.75
5
0
Germanic
US, UK
S. Europe
Anglo
Nordic
E. Asia
Score Point Difference Associated with One Unit on ESCS - Social
Gradient
50
48.5
46.2
44.83
40
35.5
34.6
30
31.75
20
10
0
US, UK
Anglo
Germanic
E. Asia
Nordic
S.Europe
Between School and Within School Variation
150
100
50
0
US, UK
Anglo
Germanic
E. Asia
Betweeen Schools Within Schools
Nordic
S. Europe
Typical Range of Average Socio-Economic Status of
Schools by Average for Country Group
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
US, UK
Anglo
Germanic E. Asia
Nordic
S. Europe
Explanations of Cross-Country Variation
1. Factors External to the School System
• Income distribution
• Welfare systems
Incom e Ine quality
45
40
35
Gini
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Nordic
Core
Europe
Southern
Europe
Re gion
AngloSaxon
Explanation of Variation
2. School System Effects
• Anglo – school choice and diversity
• Germanic – selective admissions
• Nordic – all-through comprehensive systems
Part Two: Learning Effects on Social
Cohesion
1. Individual – level effects
1. Aggregate societal effects
Social Capital Theory
Social Capital theorists, like Robert Putnam, find
that in a range of contemporary countries, more
educated people are more likely to :
•
•
•
•
•
Join associations
Engage politically
Trust other people and Institutions
Tolerate other social groups
Give to charity.
Societal Effects
These relationships are not mirrored at the level
of whole societies (because other contextual
factors enter into equation).
• More educated societies are not more trusting on
average
• More educated societies not necessarily more tolerant.
However, how education and skills are DISTRIBUTED
has a major impact on social cohesion.
Correlations between Adult Skills
Distribution and Trust
We measure skills inequality using IALS crosscountry data on adult numerical skills, using the
‘test score ratio method’
Trust in other people is based on World Values
Survey Data
70
NW
60
DEN
NL
SW
CAN
50
General Trust
FIN
IRL
D
40
AU
SZ
US
PO
30
UK
B
POR
20
10
0
1
1.1
1.2
1.3
Education Inequality
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.60
1.50
USA
POR
Income inequality
1.40
CAN
1.30
PO
SZ
IRL
B
AU
FIN
1.20
NW
UK
NL
SW
DEN
D
1.10
1.00
20.00
25.00
30.00
35.00
Test score ratio
40.00
45.00
Inequality and Trust
• Countries with more equal skills distributions tend to have higher
levels of trust.
• This probably works partly through the effects of skills distribution
on income distribution, but the correlation exists independently of
income distribution. If the relationship is causal , causality probably
works both ways.
Possible Explanations.
• Greater inequality of skills and incomes produces stress through
creating high-stakes competition which reduces the capacity to trust
in others
• Inequalities in levels of education and skill increases CULTURAL
DISTANCE between individuals and groups and makes trusting
more difficult.
Part Three: Regimes of Social
Cohesion
Historical and contemporary evidence suggests
that countries ‘hold together’ in different ways.
The different traditions of thought in political
philosophy and sociology on social cohesion and
social solidarity suggest different models of
social cohesion in different parts of the world.
Liberal Regime
• Emphasis on an active civil society, particularly at the local
level. A vibrant civil society is believed to incubate trust
spontaneously through repeated social interactions between
individuals and groups.
• The role of the central state is played down, including its
institutional roles for providing welfare and social protection
and for promoting equality through re-distribution.
• The core values which help to bind society in the liberal
regime are tolerance, meritocracy and opportunity.
• A wider set of shared values and a common identity are
thought to be incompatible with individual freedom and
cultural diversity.
Republican Regime
• The republican discourse emphasises the state rather than
civil society.
• T he state promotes social cohesion through its institutions
for welfare, social protection and re-distribution.
• It also plays a role in disseminating (through public
education) a common (national) identity and a broad set of
shared values which emphasise belonging to, and active
participation in, a political community at the national rather
than local level.
• The state also plays a supervisory role in relation to key
institutions in civil society which are seen to intermediate
conflicts, such as professional and employer institutions.
Social Democratic Regime
• The social democratic discourse follows the republican
discourse in most of its essentials, except that here the
stress on equality is more profound.
• Like republican theory social democratic theory
emphasises both the role of the state and that of
autonomous but state- sanctioned national civil society
organisations
• Social partnership is a key concept in both
contemporary traditions pointing to importance of
conflict intermediation through representative civil
society organisations.
Recent Research
Our recent research in LLAKES uses a wide range of
measures to test whether these different regimes
can be identified in contemporary societies.
The data:
• Data on social attitudes from international surveys
(such as WVS and ISSP)
• International administrative data
Measures based on survey data
Social trust
Social democratic (+)
Percentage saying most people can be trusted
Social Market (-)
Value diversity
East Asian (+)
Social market (-)
Composite indicator representing the dispersion of opinions
East Asian (-)
Liberal (+)
Active civic participation Liberal (+)
East Asian (-)
Passive participation in
Social market (+)
nationwide organizations
Social democratic (+)
Freedom vs equality
East Asian (-)
Liberal (+);
Number of different voluntary organizations worked for
Number of different organizations belonging to
Freedom or equality more important; percentage preferring freedom
Social market (-);
Merit vs equality
Social democratic (-)
Liberal (+);
Pay according to performance
Social market (+);
Ethnocultural versus
civic identities
Social democratic (-)
Romantic conservative (+); East Asian (+); Strength of cultural relative to political conceptions of national identity
Liberal (-)
Ethnic tolerance
Liberal (+); Romantic conservative (-);
East Asian (-)


Social hierarchy
East Asian (+);
Percentage saying one should always love and respect one’s parents
Gender equality
Social market (+)
East Asian (-)
Percentage disagreeing that in times of scarcity men have more right to a job than women
Social market (-)
Social democratic (+)
Xenophobia index; average (inverse indicator)
Percentage not mentioning minding foreigners as neighbours
Component
Tradition/regime
Inequality
Social Democratic (-)
Wage
regulation
Liberal (+)
Social Democratic (+)
Social Market (+)
Indicator(s)
Indicators based on administrative data
Gini coefficient on household income


Union coverage
Centralization of wage bargaining
Liberal (-)
Employment
protection
State
involvement
Welfare state
Ethno-racial
diversity
Crime /
disorder
Liberal (-)
Employment protection legislation 1998
Social market (+)
Liberal (-);
Public employment as percentage of total employment 2000
Social democratic (+);
Social market (+);
Liberal (-);
Public social expenditure as percentage of GDP 2000
Social democratic (+)
Liberal (+)
Proportion of the population born abroad 2000
East-Asian (-)
Liberal (+)
East Asian (-)


Homicide rate
Violent crime 2000
Liberal
Social Democratic
Social Market
East Asian
Mean: -.70
Minimum: -7.25
Maximum: 16.44
Mean: 2.07
Minimum: -3.43
Maximum: 13.80
Mean: -.59
Minimum: -10.97
Maximum: 5.50
Mean: .09
Minimum: -9.34
Maximum: 11.85
Included components
Included components
Included components
Included components
Inequality +
Diversity +
Welfare state State involvement Wage regulation
-(Union
coverage)
Wage
regulation
–
(Centralized bargain)
Empl protection Crime + (homicide)
Inequality Diversity Welfare state +
State involvement+
Wage regulation + (Union
coverage)
Wage
regulation
+
(Centralized bargain)
Crime – (homicide)
Diversity +
Welfare state +
Empl protection +
Wage regulation + (Union
coverage)
Wage
regulation
+
(Centralized bargain)
Diversity Welfare state Empl protection +
Crime – (homicide)
Active part +
Passive part Value diversity +
Merit +
Freedom +
Ethnic
tolerance
(neighbours measure)
Gender equality +
Active part +
Passive part +
Value diversity Merit Freedom +
+
Gender equality Active part Passive part Value diversity Merit +
Freedom Ethnic
tolerance
(neighbours measure)
Gender equality Active part Passive part Value diversity Merit +
Social hierarchy +
- Ethnic
tolerance
(neighbours measure)
–
Results
The statistical analysis uses :
•
•
•
•
Correlations and scatter plots
Cluster analysis
Factor Analysis
Composite indicators and indexes.
Different regimes of social cohesion can be readily identified.
On all the tests countries and their social cohesion
characteristics cluster very much as the theory would
suggest.
Rank order of countries on the four indexes
Liberal
Country
CAN
GB
IRE
GER
NL
AU
DEN
SP
ITA
POR
FRA
FIN
SWE
B
Social Democratic
Social Market
East Asian
Score
Country
Score
Country
Score
Country
Score
16.81
SWE
15.90
AU
5.59
KOR
11.66
9.24
4.43
-.14
-.74
-1.93
-2.05
-2.13
-2.27
-2.49
-2.86
-3.96
-4.48
-5.49
-6.08
DEN
NL
FIN
B
AU
GER
IRE
SP
GB
FRA
CAN
ITA
10.76
8.15
7.42
3.11
.81
.28
.19
-.42
-.80
-1.10
-2.62
-2.92
-3.26
-5.39
POR
GER
FRA
ITA
B
SWE
FIN
NL
SP
DEN
IRE
GB
CAN
3.12
3.05
2.27
1.82
.83
.45
-.37
-.59
-1.74
-2.84
-3.14
-5.54
-6.76
-11.33
JAP
CZE
POL
ITA
SP
POR
SLV
GER
AU
IRE
FRA
FIN
GB
NL
B
DEN
CAN
SWE
9.10
3.37
2.65
2.34
2.02
1.97
1.21
-.12
-.52
-.89
-1.35
-2.00
-2.03
-2.49
-3.40
-3.69
-4.23
-7.24
-8.13
POR
Current Vulnerabilities in Each Regime
Each regime of social cohesion is currently vulnerable at
the points most essential to its model.
• The Liberal Regime relies on opportunity and the belief in
meritocratic rewards to hold the together. This is challenged
by rising inequality and declining social mobility (in UK
and the US) particularly.
• The Republican Regime has traditionally relied on widely
shared common values. This is increasingly challenged by
cultural diversity.
• The Social Democratic Regime relies heavily on its
universalist welfare state. This is challenged by
globalisation and immigration.
Trends in Social Trust
55
50
45
40
Liberal
Social Market
Southern European
35
East Asian
30
25
20
1981
1990
2000
2005
Trends in Political Trust
65
60
55
50
45
Social Democratic
Southern European
Social Market
40
Liberal
35
30
25
20
1981
1990
2000
2005
Conclusion
Precipitous declines in levels of social and political trust
in many countries are one of the most graphic indications
of the widespread weakening of social cohesion.
Education can have a major role to play in counteracting
this.
However, it is not how much education a country has that
makes the difference, but how it is shared around.
References
Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge
Economies and Societies (LLAKES)
http://www.llakes.org/
Andy Green and Germ Janmaat (forthcoming, 2011):
Regimes of Social Cohesion: Societies and the
Crisis of Globalisation
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