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Against the Odds?Social Class and Social Justice in Industrial Societies$
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Gordon Marshall, Adam Swift, and Stephen Roberts

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198292401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198292401.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 April 2021

Education: Patterns

Education: Patterns

(p.70) 5 Education: Patterns
Against the Odds?

Gordon Marshall

Adam Swift

Stephen Roberts

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines a particular conception of social justice that aims to defend class inequalities on the grounds that they are reflections of differential merit, with merit being identified with educational achievement. It was found that merit-selection requires that individuals holding equal educational credentials be treated alike. The findings also reveal that class of origin and gender can undermine the principle of equality of opportunity through educational merit-selection, in terms of which some theories of justice seek to legitimate inequalities of outcome.

Keywords:   education, merit selection, social justice, class of origin, gender inequalities

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