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Article
Declining inequality? The changing impact of socio-economic background and ability on education in Australia
British Journal of Sociology (2003)
  • Gary Marks, ACER
  • Julie McMillan, ACER
Abstract

The paper addresses several debates surrounding the reproduction of socioeconomic inequality: (i) the persistent inequality thesis, which maintains that despite the increases in educational participation socio-economic inequalities in education have not declined; (ii) the related thesis of maximally maintained inequality, which proposes that socio-economic inequalities decline only when participation levels for the most privileged socio-economic group approach saturation levels; (iii) the meritocracy debate on the importance of ability vis-à-vis socio-economic background and changes in its influence over time; and (iv) the effect of policy changes on socio-economic inequalities in education. These issues are addressed using data from six Australian youth cohorts born between 1961 and the mid-1980s.

Publication Date
December, 2003
Citation Information
Gary Marks and Julie McMillan. "Declining inequality? The changing impact of socio-economic background and ability on education in Australia" British Journal of Sociology Vol. 54 Iss. 4 (2003)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gary_marks/44/