Conference Agenda

RN10_03b: Gender and education
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Mieke Van Houtte, Ghent University
Location: UP.3.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road


Gendered Universities and Work-life Balance Strategies. A Study Case in a University in Spain

Alícia Villar Aguilés1, Sandra Obiol Francés2

1University of Valencia, Spain; 2University of Valencia, Spain

This work gathers the results of a line of research that we are developing on strategies and policies of work-life balance at university from a combined quantitative and qualitative methodology. In this communication we present a part of the results through a qualitative analysis of the discourses collected by in-depth interviews with scholars making use of the sociological concept of symbolic violence, to understand how intermingle and carry out academic times and care times. The people interviewed relate their times as interwoven between the personal, the familiar and the professional, often highlight the professional first. It is a profession that requires a lot of dedication in an academic career increasingly endowed with competitiveness and indicators of quality measurement, where social conditions are not considered or unequal starting positions; a scenario that we analyse through the notion of accountability linked to the prevailing meritocratic model. The spreading of the accountability model promotes and demands an accelerated pace that is characterizing the current university as accelerated, both in the preparation and realization of teaching and, in particular, in research production. In this sense, we wonder if this model can be interpreted as a generator of symbolic violence.

“Why Do Girls Shoot Higher Than Boys?”: Individual And Country-level Predictors Of The Reversed Gender Gap In Educational Expectations

Francisco Olivos

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R. (China)

Cross-national studies have shown consistently that girls have higher educational expectations than boys. The literature has provided macro and micro level explanations for this phenomenon. Country-level indicators such as gender equity and the rate of female enrollment in tertiary education have been significant predictors of a pro-girls gap. On the other hand, regarding individual-level determinants, psychosocial studies have found a significant mediation of gender attitudes on the formation of educational expectations for girls. However, the interplay of macro and micro variables has not been addressed. By using data from the second wave of the International Civic and Citizenship Study 2016 (N= 86,803) of eighth and ninth graders from 22 countries, this study aims to understand why girls have higher expectations for completing college than boys, considering the interplay of micro and macro-level predictors. The results indicate that girls are more likely than boys to hold expectations for completing tertiary education. Mediation analysis suggests that an important proportion of this effect is mediated by individual gender attitudes (69%). Contrary to the literature, gender equity at country-level reduces the pro-girls gender gap. Moreover, the interaction between individual gender attitudes and structural conditions suggests that, in countries with a higher level of gender inequality, girls have higher expectations than boys independently of individual gender attitudes. However, in more egalitarian countries, girls will have higher expectations than boy only when they hold pro-woman gender attitudes. Additionally, this analysis addresses issues of small samples of countries in multilevel modeling overlooked by previous studies. The study of the reversed gender gap in educational expectations will shed lights on fields where pro-male differences remain.

Sibling Influence in Field of Study Choices

Maaike van der Vleuten1, Ineke Maas2, Jeroen Weesie2

1Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, The; 2Utrecht University, Netherlands, The


This study evaluates sibling influence in field of study choices. We argue that sibling similarities in fields of study arise because older siblings transfer field-specific resources to their younger siblings. This is more likely to occur when siblings are more similar in age, education level or when siblings are of the same sex. We analyze 14490 siblings in 1858 families using conditional logit models. We find that younger siblings tend to follow their older sibling’s field of study, irrespective of parent’s occupational field. These sibling similarities are weaker when siblings differ more in education level, but stronger when siblings are of the same sex. There is no evidence that sibling similarities depend on age differences between siblings. Importantly, we can conclude that the influence of older siblings does not lead to gender differences in fields of study. We find that not only the field of study of the older sibling closest in age is important, but also the field of study of subsequent older siblings. Our results imply that when interventions meant to increase the number of individuals entering certain fields of study target one child in the family, they may have indirect effects on that child’s younger sibling, but do not decrease gender segregation in the field of study.

The Intergenerational Transmission Of Occupational Norms: Gender And Social Status

Dinah Gross1,2

1University of Lausanne, Switzerland; 2University of Geneva, Switzerland

Teenagers' representations of occupations adequate for them in terms of gender and social class contribute to circumscribing the range of occupations they aspire to. This phenomenon feeds the reproduction of occupational segregation according to gender and social origin. In this paper, we look at the social reproduction of occupational norms and attitudes by assessing the influence that parents have on their children’s representations. We consider two topics: the transmission of sex-typed occupational representations and of representations of prestige.

Gender-role attitudes, both in occupational and non-occupational contexts, are found to be transmitted from parents to children. In contrast, the influence of parental gender-related lifestyle characteristics such as part-time work for mothers cannot be ascertained. We find parental representations of the prestige of occupations influencing their children’s, and we find their social background, in particular their level of education, having a strong effect on their children’s ambitions.

This study is based on the quantitative study of a sample of 3200 12-15 year old students in French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland, primarily using linear and logistic regressions.