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Education, stratification, and the academic hierarchy

Abstract

Some view the academic hierarchy as an essential meritocratic structure that rewards students who have greater natural abilities. Others suggest that this structure reflects specific status divisions. Using nationally representative data, this study considers the relative and independent influence of students' undergraduate achievement, social class, sex, and race on rank of graduate school they attend. Analysis of covariance techniques indicate that undergraduate achievement is the strongest predictor of rank of graduate institution attended, in all six sub-areas examined. All of the status variables also have independent effects. In several sub-areas the graduate academic hierarchy does not universally reward social class, sex, and race groups for equal levels of achievement. Other sex and race groups, with equal achievement levels, attend similarly ranked graduate institutions.

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Lang, D. Education, stratification, and the academic hierarchy. Res High Educ 21, 329–352 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00974866

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Keywords

  • Graduate School
  • Strong Predictor
  • Social Class
  • Independent Effect
  • Education Research