Socioeconomic School Composition and School Misconduct: Disentangling Structural and Cultural Explanations in Ghent

  • Jannick DemanetEmail author
  • Laura Van den Broeck
  • Mieke Van Houtte
Part of the International Study of City Youth Education book series (SCYE, volume 2)


This study investigates three explanations for the higher chance of students attending schools with a lower SES composition to engage in school-deviant behavior. Two explanations target features of the school culture. The first centers on students and expects students in low SES schools to feel blocked in reaching their academic goals. The second explanation focuses on teachers, who may have lower expectations for their students when employed in lower SES schools and therefore may stir student opposition. The third explanation is more structural and points to the tracked nature of the Flemish secondary school system. Results of multilevel analyses, carried out on the 2354 students and 502 teachers, in 30 secondary schools, that make up the Ghent baseline sample of the ISCY study (2013–2014), show the pervasive impact of the Flemish tracking system. More specifically, the SES composition effect on school misbehavior is shown to be entirely due to track position. Implications are discussed.


SES composition Academic self-efficacy Teacher expectations Tracked system School misconduct 



The research reported in this chapter was funded by the Scientific Research Foundation, Flanders (grant numbers 12E1316N and 1171417N); the Special Research Fund from Ghent University, Belgium; and the Department of Sociology, Ghent University, Belgium.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jannick Demanet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Van den Broeck
    • 1
  • Mieke Van Houtte
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group CuDOS, Department of SociologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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