Inequality of educational opportunity in France and the United States

Maurice Garnier, Michael Hout

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Unequality of educational opportunity is related to school structure. Comparison of the attainment process in France and the United States reveals the consequences of structure for individuals' attainments. Turner's (1960) typology of educational systems is applied. The French educational system is shown to be closer to Turner's "sponsorship system," and that of the U. S. closer to the "contest" type. Inequality of educational opportunity, as indicated by the effect of father's occupational status on years of schooling completed, is greater in France than in the U. S. The difference is accounted for by school structural variables, indicating the importance of structure for inequality of opportunity. Other differences concerning the causes of educational attainment in France and the U. S. are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-246
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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