Later, I Can Still Be What I Want to Be. Status, Self-Esteem and Aspirations in Secondary Education, with a Focus on Pupils in Non-Academic Tracks

Author: Lenie van den Bulk
Institution: Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Author: Mart-Jan de Jong
Institution: Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Year of publication: 2013
Source: Show
Pages: 42-65
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/92/kie9203.pdf

This paper focuses on the question whether the perceived distance between the low status of the school that is attended by the pupils, the high ambitions of these pupils, and the feasibility of achieving these goals could lead to the total evaporation of any motivation to do well at school. Is educational success of pupils in the lowest level of secondary education hampered by the realization that one’s chances to reach a highly respected social position are very limited? In this article, we, firstly, study how adolescents evaluate people in distinctive social positions and to what extent they are aware of status distinctions. Secondly, what are the expectations and ambitions of youngsters and how do they describe their own characteristics when asked to respond to questions, such as “who are you?” and “where do you locate yourself in society?”. Thirdly, we analyze their views on society, their self-images and career expectations. We want to investigate whether these images and projections differ in correlation with their level and type of education.


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career opportunities career ambitions and expactations self-respect status perceiving status distinctions types of education levels of education self-esteem social identity secondary education adolescents

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