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Choosing the local school: middle class parents' values and social and ethnic mix in London and Paris

Abstract : This paper analyses a specific kind of choice, choice of the local school, by a specific middle class group, characterized by its high cultural capital, its ‘caring’ perspective and liberal political orientation, in two cosmopolitan, ‘mixed’ settings, London and Paris, with a focus on values and how ethical dilemmas raised by confrontation with the social and ethnic mix in schools are solved. It draws upon a small-scale comparative study of urban middle class parents conducted in 2004– 2005 at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris in collaboration with the London Institute of Education. Using the same open-ended schedule, 28 interviews were carried out in one London locality and 38 in a similar locality in the Parisian periphery (plus 12 others in a nearby private school). Its main purpose was to use a cross-Channel comparison to test and enrich a comprehensive model of school choice that tries to take into account the complex interaction between policies, strategies, contexts, resources and values.
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Maroussia Raveaud, Agnès van Zanten. Choosing the local school: middle class parents' values and social and ethnic mix in London and Paris. Journal of Education Policy, 2007, 22 (1), pp.107 - 124. ⟨hal-01521727v2⟩

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