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Title: Complexities of School Choice: Some Reflections from the Field
Other Titles: SOCIAL TRENDS, Vol. 6, March 2019, p 125 - 146
Authors: Sengupta, Indrani
Keywords: Choice
school education
urban fringe
Issue Date: Mar-2019
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: The paper is an attempt to understand how parents choose schools for their children in the present context of changing educational landscape where private schools are increasing in number. I situate the study in the urban fringes of Maslandapur and Madhyamgram where private players are investing enormously in schools. This gives a spatial dimension to the context of choice. The study shows that choice of school is not based on cost and benefit calculation; the guiding principle being social recognition where the choice of private schools is increasingly becoming a part of this culture. Although the parents reside in the periphery, their aspirations are no less than the city dwellers. The study highlights how parents negotiate with their own space and choose schools of different shades, which are hierarchically located in terms of quality, status and glamour, for their children. Differential control over material resources contribute to selection of schools which have differential pay structures. It is thus important that right based approach to education with a common school system is encouraged. The significance of the study lies in bringing out the complexities that surround the notion of choice of school which point out that the freedom to choose does not always bring intended benefits.
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol. 6 (March 2019)

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