How do education systems shape educational inequalities?


The conference will focus on how and via which social factors and processes characteristics of educational systems produce educational inequalities.
Contributions will focus on key axes of inequality like social origin, gender, ethnicity/migration background as well as other less well-studied factors like ability, region or religion, and certain intersections, such as male working-class migrants.
These analyses require links between different levels of sociological analysis, from the macro level of society to the meso level of institutions and organizations to the micro level of individuals. Educational system characteristics include institutional settings and organizations that often reflect societal conditions, like overall levels of inequality, welfare regime type, and demographics. Institutional settings are conceptualised in terms of incentive and opportunity structures as well as in terms of limitations regarding educational attainment. In concert, these macro and meso structures determine advantages and disadvantages in educational opportunities of different social groups and therefore educational inequalities.
Following the latest developments in inequality research, such as the cumulative advantage/disadvantage hypothesis and the intersectionality approach, we expect heightened disadvantages at the intersection of different axes of (educational) inequality. Furthermore, these are expected to cumulate over the life course.

Keynote Speakers
Fabrizio Bernardi, European University Institute, Italy
Richard Breen, Yale University, United States
Claudia Buchmann, Ohio State University, United States
Jaap Dronkers, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands
Irena Kogan, University of Mannheim, Germany
Ann Phoenix, University of London, United Kingdom
Yossi Shavit, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Herman van de Werfhorst, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Scientific Committee
Andreas Hadjar, University of Luxembourg
Justin Powell, University of Luxembourg Christiane Gross, University of Konstanz, Germany
Claudia Buchmann, Ohio State University, United States
Elina Kilpi-Jakonen, University of Turku, Finland
Walter Müller, Mannheim Center for European Social Research, Germany

Alongside renowned scholars who will present keynote addresses, we invite social scientists to contribute to the conference
- paper presentations (20 minutes plus 10 minutes of discussion),
- posters or
- round-table talks (15 minute presentation plus discussion).

The conference language is English.

Papers and posters should focus on education systems and educational inequalities including topics such as:
a) Education systems and inequalities along the axis of social origin
b) Education systems and gender inequalities in education
c) Education systems and migration-specific inequalities
d) Methodological issues of the comparison of education systems
e) Changing education systems and changing educational inequalities

An abstract of about 400 words should cover key questions, theoretical issues, methods and (preliminary) results.

Include the following information for all author(s):
- family name, first name(s);
- email address; telephone number (including country and area dialling codes);
- postal address (including postcode and country);
- and academic title/post/appointment.

Please also indicate if any of the attending (co-)authors is a young scholar (PhD student), and if you want to give a presentation,to present a poster or to take part with your paper at a round-table talk.

Please find a submission template here.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 December 2013.

Please send your abstracts by email to Alexander Dregger (

You will be notified whether your paper has been accepted by 15 January 2014.

Young scholars, doctoral candidates or those with limited income will pay a reduced fee and are eligible to apply for grants of €400.

For further information, please contact:

Associate Professor Dr. Andreas Hadjar
Institute of Education & Society
University of Luxembourg


Conference Homepage


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