Effects of social background on post-compulsory pathways in Switzerland

Hupka-Brunner, Sandra; Samuel, Robin; Bergman, Manfred Max (2016). Effects of social background on post-compulsory pathways in Switzerland. In: Scharenberg, Katja; Hupka-Brunner, Sandra; Meyer, Thomas; Bergman, Manfred Max (eds.) Transitionen im Jugend- und jungen Erwachsenenalter = Transitions des adolescents et des jeunes adultes en Suisse = Transitions in youth and young adulthood study, Vol. 2 (pp. 45-74). Zürich: Seismo

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The lower secondary level of the Swiss education system is characterised by strong tracking and a broad spectrum of educational opportunities, differentiated by the level of education required. The upper secondary level is dominated by the vocational education and training system. The aim of education policy in Switzerland is to increase the permeability of educational pathways. To date, the sometimes sizeable effect of social background on the development of academic performance and on youth pathways has only been described for particular groups and transitions. In our contribution, we examine the post-compulsory educational pathways of a representative Swiss youth cohort and analyse social background effects across several transitions. In doing so, we contrast a broad empirical view on post-compulsory pathways with the political aim of increasing the educational permeability. We draw on life course theorisation and the capital transfer theory developed by Pierre Bourdieu. Our analyses employ data of the Swiss panel Transitions from Education to employment (TREE). Longitudinal latent class analyses reveal social background effects that vary between educational trajectories. Furthermore, they demonstrate the linkage between education stages. Our findings suggest that educational policies aiming to increase the permeability between educational pathways have been only partially successful so far.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Hupka-Brunner, Sandra; Samuel, Robin; Bergman, Manfred Max; Scharenberg, Katja; Hupka-Brunner, Sandra; Meyer, Thomas and Bergman, Manfred Max


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology






[1036] Transitions from Education to Employment (TREE) Official URL




Thomas Meyer

Date Deposited:

17 Jun 2019 11:28

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2020 02:29



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