Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author or Editor: Rolf Becker x
Clear All Modify Search

According to the meritocratic principle, the ideological legitimation of social inequalities, educational and status attainment should only depend on achievement and ability rather than on ascriptive factors such as social origin. There is a long-standing tradition of educational policies and reforms which attempted to weaken the influence of social origin and, thus, to develop greater equality of educational and status attainment. This chapter focuses on the impact of institutional settings on the mechanisms of the meritocratic triad, namely the link between social origin (class of origin) and educational attainment, the link between educational attainment and status attainment, and the direct link between social origin and status, net of educational level. Again, the characteristics of the educational system in terms of stratification appear to be influential with regard to educational inequalities and social inequalities, for example with regard to school-to-work transitions.

Full Access

This article studies to what extent societal processes such as educational expansion, economic modernisation and business cycles have affected the returns to educational certificates of women and men entering the labour market in West Germany. Using longitudinal data, long-term changes in cohort- and period-specific effects on socio-economic status attainment at entry into the labour market are investigated between 1945 and 2008. Analyses demonstrate that the entrants’ average socio-economic prestige scores have clearly risen in the process of modernisation. Despite educational expansion, increasing skill demands for highly qualified graduates resulted in rising rates of returns for the most highly educated entrants across birth cohorts. While educational expansion and economic modernisation have boosted socio-economic returns at entry into the labour market for women from all educational levels, it has not been the case for men with the lowest levels of education. Both educational expansion and rising skill requirements of occupations led to an increasing polarisation of inequality between tertiary educated labour-market entrants and less-qualified school leavers. Educational expansion in West Germany has therefore never exceeded the occupational skill demands at entry into the labour market.

Full Access