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Track prejudice in Belgian secondary schools : examining the influence of social-psychological and structural school features

  • Dekeyser, Lorenz
  • Van Houtte, Mieke
  • Maene, Charlotte
  • Stevens, Peter
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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While considerable research in education has established objective and subjective status differences between tracks and focused on the outcomes of ability grouping on students' educational and broader outcomes, there is virtually no research that explains students' variability in track valuation. This study relies on theoretical insights from social psychology, ethnic studies and school effects research to develop hypotheses about the influence of individual and school level features on students' track valuation. Data from The School, Identity and Society survey, involving 4,540 adolescents from 64 Belgian schools is utilised, using multilevel modelling. The findings show the relevance of social identity theory and social norms in students judging all tracks; and track chauvinism, patriotism and cross-track friendships in explaining variability in students' prejudice towards other tracks. However, these relationships vary according to the track position of the student. The conclusions discuss the implications of this study for future research and social policy.

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