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Educational inequality and social justice: Challenges for career guidance

  • Walter MüllerEmail author
Article

Abstract

The article provides a multiperspective approach to educational careers. It first discusses social justice issues in the distribution of the crucial individual and social good of education. It then summarizes core findings of recent international research on processes and factors generating social disparities in the acquisition of education. Based on both it finally provides suggestions how especially professional guidance can contribute to reducing inequalities and increasing social justice.

Keywords

Education Inequality of opportunity Career guidance 

Résumé

Inégalités scolaires et justice sociale: Enjeux pour le conseil d’orientation. Cet article propose une approche réunissant des perspectives multiples concernant les parcours de formation. En premier lieu, les enjeux de la justice sociale dans la répartition du bienfait individuel et social cruciaux de l’éducation sont examinés. Ensuite, les résultats principaux des récentes recherches internationales sur les processus et facteurs générant des disparités sociales dans l’acquisition des connaissances scolaires sont résumés. Enfin, sur la base de ces deux axes, cet article émet des suggestions sur la manière dont les professionnels en orientation, en particulier, peuvent contribuer à réduire les inégalités et augmenter la justice sociale.

Zusammenfassung

Bildungsungleichheit und soziale gerechtigkeit: Herausforderungen für die laufbahnberatung. Der Beitrag verfolgt einen Mehr-Perspektiven-Ansatz für die Analyse von Bildungskarrieren. Zunächst werden Aspekte sozialer Gerechtigkeit im Hinblick auf Bildung als ein bedeutsames individuelles und soziales Gut diskutiert. Anschließend werden wichtige Befunde aus internationalen Studien über Einflussfaktoren und Prozesse zusammengefasst, die soziale Disparitäten beim Bildungserfolg hervorbringen. Darauf basierend werden Vorschläge unterbreitet, wie professionelle Beratung dazu beitragen kann, Ungleichheiten zu reduzieren und soziale Gerechtigkeit zu befördern.

Resumen

Desigualdad educativa y justicia social: desafíos para la orientación profesional. El artículo proporciona un enfoque multiperspectivo sobre las profesiones educativas. Primero se analizan cuestiones de justicia social en la distribución del bien individual y social fundamental en la educación. A continuación, resume los hallazgos fundamentales de la reciente investigación internacional sobre los procesos y factores que generan las desigualdades sociales en la adquisición de la educación. Basado en ambos asuntos finalmente proporciona sugerencias de como especialmente los profesionales de la orientación pueden contribuir a reducir las desigualdades y aumentar la justicia social.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The article is a shortened version of “Educational Inequality and Social Justice: Challenges for Career Guidance” appearing under the same authorship as chapter 2.6 in G. Arulmani, A. J. Bakshi, F. T. L. Leong & A. G. Watts. (Eds.), Handbook of Career Development: International perspectives. New York, NY: Springer International. This extended version also includes additional references on which statements in this article are based. I thank Bernd-Joachim Ertelt and the reviewers of the article for helpful comments and Andrew Jenkins and Jean-Jacques Ruppert for the translation into English and language editing.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung (Mannheim Centre for European Social Research)University of MannheimMannheimGermany

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