World Yearbook of Education 2015 : Elites, Privilege and Excellence: The National and Global Redefinition of Educational Advantage book cover
1st Edition

World Yearbook of Education 2015
Elites, Privilege and Excellence: The National and Global Redefinition of Educational Advantage

ISBN 9781138711204
Published February 9, 2017 by Routledge
272 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This latest volume in the World Yearbook of Education Series focuses on educational elites and inequality, focusing particularly on the ways in which established and emergent groups located at the top of the social hierarchy and power structure reproduce, establish or redefine their position.

The volume is organized around three main issues:

  • analyzing the way in which parents, students and graduates in positions of social advantage use their assets and capitals in relation to educational strategies, and how these are different for old and new and cultural and economic elites;
  • studying how elite institutions have adapted their strategies to take into account changes in the social structure, in policy and in their institutional environment and exploring the impact of these strategies on educational systems at the national and global levels;
  • mapping the new global dynamics in elite education and how new forms of 'international education' and 'transnational cultural capital' as well as new global educational elite pathways shape elite students’ identities, status and trajectories.

Making use of a social and an institutional approach as well as a focus on practices and policies, the volume draws on research conducted on secondary schools and on higher education. In addition, the global contributions within the book allow for a comparison and contrast of situations in different countries. This results in a comprehensive picture of common processes and national differences concerning advantage and excellence and a thorough examination of the impact of globalization on the strategies, identities and trajectories of elite groups and individuals alongside more general cultural and economic processes.

Table of Contents



Educating Elites: The Changing Dynamics and Meanings of Privilege and Power

Agnès van Zanten


Part 1

Class and Family Educational Strategies

1. Elites: Some Questions for a New Research Agenda

Claire Maxwell

2. A Family Affair: Reproducing Elite Positions and Preserving the Ideals of Meritocratic Competition and Youth Autonomy

Agnès van Zanten

3. Elite Families and Schools in Buenos Aires: The Role of Tradition and School Social Networks in the Production and Reproduction of Privilege

Victoria Gessaghi and Alicia Méndez

Part 2

Elite Institutions in National and Local Contexts

4. Changes in Elite Education in the United States

Shamus Rahman Khan


5. The Changing Strategies of Social Closure in Elite Education in Brazil

Ana Maria F. Almeida

6. Germany’s Hesitant Approach to Elite Education. Stratification Processes in German Secondary and Higher Education

Ulrike Deppe, Werner Helsper, Reinhard Kreckel, Heinz-Hermann Krüger and Manfred Stock

7. The Boundaries of Privilege: Elite English schools’ Geographies and Depictions of a Local Community

Rachel Brooks and Johanna Waters

Part 3

The Impact of Globalization on Institutional and Student Identities

8. Globalisation and Elite Universities in China

Tien-Hui Chiang, FanHua Meng, Fugui Ye and Luo Yan, Tsinghua University


9. The Discourse of 'Asia Rising' in an Elite Indian School

Fazal Rizvi

10. National and International Students’ Definition of Merit in French Grandes Ecoles

Brigitte Darchy-Koechlin, Hugues Draelants and Elise Tenret

11. Globalizing Femininity in Elite Schools for Girls: Some Paradoxical Failures of Success

Jane Kenway, Diana Langmead and Debbie Epstein



Part 4

Elite Institutions, Elite positions and Elite Jobs

12. Elite Universities, Elite Schooling and Reproduction in Britain

Paul Wakeling and Mike Savage

13. Paths to the Elite in France and in the United States

Jules Naudet

14. Contextually-Bound Authoritative Knowledge: A Comparative Study of British, French and Norwegian Administrative Elites’ Merit and Skills

Marte Mangset

15. Higher Education, Corporate Talent and the Stratification of Knowledge Work in the Global Labour Market

Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder and Johnny Sung




Elites, Education and Identity. An Emerging Research Agenda

Stephen Ball


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Agnès van Zanten is Senior Research Professor at the Observatoire Sociologique du Changement at Sciences Po, Paris.

Stephen J. Ball is Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Brigitte Darchy-Koechlin holds a PhD in sociology and works at the Department of Research Development, Innovation and Experimentation of the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research.