12. Education as Social Policy

Bettina Kohlrausch, Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen (SOFI), Germany, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Claudia Ruddat, Lehrstuhl für allg. Soziologie, Wirtschaft und Arbeit Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany,   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In all European countries in recent years so called ‚activating policies’ have gained increasing relevance. For all their differences a common feature of these policies is that education is understood as central instrument to serve several social aims, such as labor market integration by securing employability, upward social mobility, the inclusion of migrants or the building up of a democratic society. Thus in many aspects education has become an integrated part of social policies.

In contrast to the rising relevance of this policy field, it is a striking feature of the social policy discourse that it excluded education for a long time. While early theorists, most prominently Thomas H. Marshall, included education in their framework contemporary research on social policy often tends to underestimate the role of education in different welfare systems. For example, Esping-Andersen (1990) did not list education as a feature of its welfare state classification. Nevertheless, recently there have been some attempts to close this gap for example by trying to apply central concepts of welfare state analysis to education (Willemse and Beer 2012) or to introduce ‘educational poverty’ (Allmendinger and Leibfried 2003) as a new social problem.

This stream seeks to bring together papers analyzing the interrelation between social policy and education policy.

The topics of the stream will include:

- Conceptual and theoretical considerations on how social policy and education policy are connected.

- Reframing of education as a field of social policy in political processes and/or public debates.

- The evolution or change of education policies explicitly addressing outcomes which are often associated with social policies such as poverty or employability.

- Outcomes of educational policy concerning social inequality, employability, educational poverty or related issues.

- Cross national comparisons of the interrelation of both policy fields with particular focus on the above mentioned topics.

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