Inequalities in educational opportunity have been a persistent feature of all school systems for generations, with conventional explanations of differences in educational attainment tending to be reduced to either quantitative or non-quantitative 'list' theories. In this groundbreaking book, Roy Nash argues that a realist framework for the sociological explanation of educational group differences can, and must be, constructed. A move to such an explanatory framework will allow us to take into account the social influences of early childhood development, the later emergence of social identities, and the nature of the social class impact of educational and career decision-making. By building on the critical analyses of the theories of Bourdieu, Boudon and Bernstein, this book makes a vital contribution to the current policy and theoretical debate about the causes of educational inequality.
'The title of the book was instantly appealing to me, and the author did not disappoint as he tackles this complex topic in depth. The author spent the first half of his life in the UK before moving to New Zealand, and the book draws significant research from both sides of the world… The material in the book is widely researched and each chapter has a clear aim, a conclusion and finishes with extensive references… This is a complex and mainly theoretical book which would be invaluable to those hoping to extend their knowledge of this area. The extensive reference would be useful to doctorate students, and those seeking to carry out further research. I found the book thought-provoking and stimulating… it is accessible to all levels of readership…' DECP Debate: Division of Educational and Child Psychologists