One Theory or Many Theories of Educational Stratification?: An Empirical Analysis

Nikolas D. Pharris-Ciurej, University of Washington

This analysis uses data from the University of Washington Beyond High School Research Project to examine whether it is possible to develop a cumulative integrated theory of educational stratification. Although the leading theories of educational stratification (Wisconsin Model, the Capital Deficiency Model, Oppositional Culture, and Segmented Assimilation) are individuated in that they emphasize different key mechanisms, a great deal of conceptual overlap exists between these perspectives. This analysis empirically assesses the four leading theories to examine whether they operate as expected, and, based upon the empirical results, it will attempt to develop a synthetic unified theoretical perspective. Familial context and resources, encouragement to attend college from significant others, academic performance, and educational orientation appear to be predictors of college plans, enrollment and completion.

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Presented in Poster Session 2