Educational inequality and state-sponsored elite education: the case of the Dutch gymnasium

Comparative Education 56 (4):522-546 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper we examine the role the Dutch gymnasium continues to play in the institutional maintenance of educational inequality. To that end we examine the relational and spatial features of state-sponsored elite education in the Dutch system: the unique identity the gymnasium seeks to cultivate; its value to its consumers; its geographic significance; and its market position amidst a growing array of other selective forms of schooling. We argue that there is a strong correlation between a higher social class background and the concern to transmit one’s cultural habitus. We further speculate on the moral implications of state-sponsored elite education, both as it concerns the specific role of the gymnasium in the reproduction of social inequality as well as the curious tendency among its supporters to rationalise the necessity of its existence.

Author's Profile

Michael S. Merry
University of Amsterdam


Added to PP

485 (#38,530)

6 months
135 (#31,579)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?