Elite Private Secondary Education in Greece: Class Strategies and Educational Advantages

Author: Despoina Valassi
Institution: University of Crete, Greece
Year of publication: 2012
Source: Show
Pages: 21-41
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2012.06.02
PDF: kie/92/kie9202.pdf

Too little attention has been paid to the school institutions intended to educate and socialize the children of the upper classes. Greece has a significant history of private educational institutions. Yet their history and role within the educational system and society has been consistently neglected. The study of elite private education and its relationship with the social reproduction of the upper and middle classes in Greece has been even more neglected. Through a study of elite private secondary schools, following the theoretical model of Pierre Bourdieu, we explored the relationship that the middle and upper social strata of Greek society maintain with specific private schools. In order to determine the above, we conducted a quantitative field survey at 13 well-known private schools in Athens, using a questionnaire. In these schools we find considerable over-representation of the social categories that are placed at the summit of the social hierarchy. A basic argument of our study was that different sections of the middle and upper classes develop different educational strategies to ensure their social reproduction and to increase their privileges. These different strategies adopted by traditional and more recently emerging social classes are reflected in the differences among the elite private schools as a “field” and they distinguished the very top private schools from the less prestigious one. Also, we have found that sections of the Greek upper and middle class provide their offspring, through certain schools and activities, with an international capital which is a necessary condition for their future participation in international educational and professional markets. The study’s central research methodology included geometrical data analysis such as correspondence analysis.

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correspondence analysis international capital field class strategies social reproduction elite schools Pierre Bourdieu private schools Education

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