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School Differentiation and Segregation in the Parisian Periphery: An Analysis of Urban Schools' Logics of Action and their Effects

  • Agnes Van Zanten
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 19)

This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive view of the functioning of urban schools in the Parisian urban periphery with two main purposes. The first is to argue on a theoretical and empirical basis that, in order to understand urban schools and urban educational systems, it is necessary to take into account both external and internal factors and, especially, schools’ interactions with their social and institutional environment. The second is to analyze the two-way relationship between the logic of action of each school, that is, its leading orientation as it can be reconstructed from the analysis of discourses and practices, and academic, social and ethnic segregation of pupils. In order to do that, I use empirical material collected in a large study of the Parisian periphery, covering three different research projects; on the interaction between urban and school segregation, on competition between schools and on parental choice of schools. This study was conducted in four different urban areas (two predominantly white and middle class and two socially and ethnically mixed) and 25 secondary middle schools (22 state and 3 private). The first section of the chapter presents a general model for analyzing urban schools, which examines the interplay between policies, local dynamics, and the perspectives of educational professionals in schools. The second section discusses in some detail six ideal types of logics of action representing different responses to different constraints and opportunities resulting from policies, environmental factors, or internal dynamics. The final section of the paper is concerned with the interactive relationship between schools’ logics of action and segregation.

Keywords

Private School Urban School Political Authority School Differentiation Head Teacher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes Van Zanten
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatoire Sociologique du Changement, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut d'Etudes politiques de ParisFrance

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