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Class and ethnic disadvantages in educational attainment of the second generation revisited using the 1991 and 2001 Belgian Census

Vicky Bastiaenssen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

This study considers the role of migration and group-specific ethnic penalties in minority groups’ life chances. More specifically it focuses on the ethnic and class inequalities in educational achievement in Belgium for second generation young adults and their native peers. Educational attainment is measured by considering the delay in age when graduating from secondary education and the extent of that delay. The association between social class and educational attainment has long been established. Recent research with the second generation has shown that mechanisms of class disadvantage perpetuate ethnic disadvantage from one generation to the next. Moreover several studies have shown that classic assimilation theory doesn’t suffice in explaining ethnic underachievement. Does an ethnic gap remain when controlling for gender, region and social background? Do different tracking practices in the regions affect educational attainment differently for the second generation? Has this ethnic gap in education changed over the last decade?

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Presented in Session 206: Educational attainment of second generation immigrants