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Flaunting one’s academic pedigree? Self-Presentation of students from elite French schools

Abstract : This article starts from the puzzle that although French elite institutions enjoy extremely positive and attractive images, students from these schools generally choose to conceal their academic pedigree in their daily interactions. We show that, in a context of growing inequalities of access to grandes coles, the strategy of hiding one's student identity may be understood as the desire to avoid six core threats associated with declaring one's association with an elite school: not conforming to group norms, confirming a negative reputation, not living up to a positive reputation, reducing one's identity, losing control of one's identity, and threatening the identity of the other. The conclusions highlight the implications of this microsociological study on a host of much wider questions useful in better understanding the ambivalent relations that exist between French society and its elites issued from the grandes coles.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 1:58:43 PM
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Hugues Draelants, Brigitte Darchy-Koechlin. Flaunting one’s academic pedigree? Self-Presentation of students from elite French schools. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 32 (1), pp.17 - 34. ⟨10.1080/01425692.2011.527719⟩. ⟨hal-03461598⟩



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