1st Edition

School Choice, Race and Social Anxiety Exploring French Middle-Class Parental Risks

By Anthony E. Healy Copyright 2022
    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    Based on a carefully contextualized and critical study, this book tells how France’s dominant social and political ideology and prevailing cultural conventions abate the effects of race and anxiety within school choice, here focused on public-school middle-class parents living among immigrants in the diverse Paris suburbs.

    The study employs innovative techniques to tackle the presence of race, a difficult topic in France, and to address the impact of global risk from which social anxiety springs. Interviews for this book took place when a wave of deadly terrorism, mass migration of refugees, and the divisiveness of a presidential election made topics around the study poignant. It demonstrates how race operates in French education policy and practices by directing attention to how experienced and more qualified teachers move over their careers to less diverse schools, seen by teachers as having better students.

    The book explores how social anxiety created through global risk is culturally resisted within the French context by viewing this resistance theoretically through parental dispositions. It presents the racist perception in French school choice by revealing the education policies and parental choices that often segregate immigrants into schools with inexperienced and unqualified teachers. This book will be of interest to academics at upper-level undergraduate as well as graduate courses, policymakers, educators who are interested in inequality, sociology of education, transnational and critical perspectives on race, schooling, and school choice.


    1. The Terrain of Choice

    2. Policies and Practices of Choice

    3. Choice as a Choice

    4. Schooling as it Ought to be

    5. Race as Imagined

    6. Social Anxiety and School Choice



    Anthony E. Healy is visiting assistant professor at Emory University in Atlanta. A former journalist and consultant, he is author of a non-academic book, The Postindustrial Promise. The author’s research interests lie in the juncture of families, education, and inequality.