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Comparative studies of gender segregation in vocational education and training – Institutional and individual perspectives

Avant le 1er juin - Comparative Social Research

Date de mise en ligne : [04-03-2014]

Mots-clés : éducation

Comparative Social Research, vol. 31, 2015

Over the past decades, increasing educational attainment among young women has led to a profound decrease in the vertical gender segregation of educational systems in the Western world – to the point where there are more female students than male in higher education in many countries. In contrast to this however, horizontal gender segregation – the unequal distribution of men and women across study programs or fields of study – persists to a large degree within secondary and tertiary education levels, particularly so in vocational education. This “tracking” of boys and girls into separate educational trajectories often starts when they enter upper secondary education, but there is considerable variation across countries.
The gender segregated nature of vocational secondary education has received little attention in the stratification literature, despite its consequences for gender differences in labour market outcomes, such as job placement, income, occupational status and access to full-time employment. While previous research on vocational education and transitions into the labour market have employed an institutional perspective, it has been criticized for being “gender blind” or descriptive in nature.
Recent research has pointed to four institutional characteristics that may be particularly significant for gendered educational pathways. These are 1) the degree of vocationally specific education and training, 2) timing of educational and occupational decisions, 3) track differentiation, and 4) opportunity for changing tracks. These characteristics are thought to influence young men’s and women’s career choice, choices which may have long term consequences for their professional development. Furthermore, the structure of the labour market and available welfare state provisions are also thought to have a filter effect on the gendered life courses and, possibly, career decisions of young people.
We invite scholars in the field to submit an abstract for possible inclusion in an edited volume on this topic for the publication series Comparative Social Research (Emerald Books). The volume will be edited by Christian Imdorf (University of Basel, Switzerland), Kristinn Hegna (Norwegian Social Research, NOVA) and Liza Reisel (Institute for Social Research, Norway). The editors aim to bring together research that explicitly compares patterns of educational gender segregation across countries that vary according to these institutional characteristics. In addition, we will consider country specific case studies that investigate the relevance of institutional contexts for individual level processes related to gendered educational or occupational choices more in-depth.
Contributions on the above themes should be theoretically guided empirical studies. The submitted abstract, with (working) title, should make its objectives and research questions explicit, discuss its theoretical framework and identify (preliminary) results. The abstract (length 2-3 pages) should be submitted by June 1st to kristinn.hegna@nova.hioa.no.
Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to participate with full papers in a thematic workshop in late November 2014 to present and discuss their contributions. The final papers should be submitted by end of January 2015, and will then undergo full blinded peer review, with a minimum of two referees for each paper.

The editorial team is looking forward to your submission !
Christian Imdorf, University of Basel, Switzerland (christian.imdorf@unibas.ch) Kristinn Hegna, Norwegian Social Research, Norway (kristinn.hegna@nova.hioa.no) Liza Reisel, Institute for Social Research, Norway (liza.reisel@socialresearch.no)

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