Institute of Sociology

Social inequality in educational attainment: The impact of regional socio-economic environments (SPP1646)

Prof. Dr. Steffen Hillmert

Dr. Andreas Hartung
Dr. Katarina Weßling

Student Assistant:
Nora Bechler

Educational attainment is the result of a rather complex process involving the formation of educa­­tional aspirations, the development of competencies and educational decisions. Sociologi­cal transition research has revealed that educational attainment must be understood as a sequence of successive decisions, and that the relevant environments in which these decisions take place vary considerably between educational stages. Individuals are embedded in various contexts that are known to have an impact on educational attainment, such as families, class­rooms or schools, but educational differences between individuals even exist when family- or school-related conditions are comparable. These educational disparities may be due to varying re­gional environments, e.g. to neighbourhoods and local labour market conditions. This project focuses on these socio-economic environments and their relevance for educational aspirations, compe­tencies and decisions. Life course research further assumes that environments have a different influence on the process of attainment at different stages of the educational career. Based on theoretical models of educational decision making, this project analyses context effects on educational attainment along the educational career. We use NEPS data from various cohorts and enrich them with context data from additional sources.

Publications, working papers & other resources