Friedkin, Noah, & Thomas, Scott L.
Social Positions in Schooling
University of California, Santa Barbara
Analyzes students' curricular positioning and social positions in schooling.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 70, No. 4, pp. 239-255
- Students are positioned in a structure of curricular positions, rather than in formal tracks.
- There are variations in the status characteristics (race, gender) and attitudes of the students in different curricular positions.
- A substantial proportion of the variance in senior year academic achievement is betweens positions.
- Curricular positioning influences senior year academic achievement net of previous academic achievement, status characteristics and school sector (public vs. private).
- Results suggest that private schooling offers no distinctive advantage to students, except in those cases where students would not receive as rigorous a program of study if they were to enter a public school.
- The positive effects of private schools are explained by the curricular positions of their students, and there is a public school advantage with respect to science achievements for students in equivalent curricular positions.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Math, Reading, Science, Social Capital, Tracking, Vocabulary
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
High school students
Unit of Analysis:
- Data are from the High School and Beyond, a national sample of high school students.
- Sample used in this study is 10,786 students who participated in the first three waves of the survey (1980, 1982, and 1984).
- DV: Senior-year academic achievement. Study assesses students' academic achievement in sophomore and senior years (vocabulary, reading, math, and science). Course work and curricular positions were used to create 139 profiles for network measures.
- IV: Four status characteristics are included in the analysis (race, gender, SES and public/private school) as well as attitudinal variables relating to future academic plans. It also controlled for sophomore-year achievements and status characteristics. From the analysis of profiles of coursework, 8 curricular positions are derived. 4 are academic positions and 4 are vocational.