SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND, ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND CAREER CHOICES OF GREEK YOUNG ADULTS. A MIXED METHODS STUDY

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik

Abstract: Aim:The main purpose of this study is to determine the role of socio-economic background (SEB) of young adults, who live in a medium size city of Greece (Ioannina), in shaping their academic performance at school and their career choices afterwards.Theory:The project is based on the cultural theory or theory of reproduction from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. The theory of cultural reproduction, is part of the new sociology of education. It was developed by Bourdieu in the 1960s and it interprets the inequality in academic performance of students’ from different social backgrounds, from the distribution of cultural, social and economic capitalMethod:The mixed methods approach was selected as the appropriate approach for this study, because it can provide the advantages of both quantitative and qualitative spectrum and different kind of perspectives. The research part of the study is divided into two parts, with the questionnaire being used as the data collection tool for the quantitative part and the semi-structured interview for the qualitative part.Results:The collected data showed a strong relationship between young adults SEB and their academic performance and career choices. In particular, both parts of the study showed that participants’ SEB influenced their academic performance through many different factors, such as their type of school, the kind of private tutoring and generally their parents’ involvement. Accordingly, it was found a strong relationship between their academic performance and their career choices and a huge impact of the Greek economic crisis in their lives. Finally, the qualitative part revealed other relevant factors that affected participants’ academic performance and career choices.

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