Relationships to school as relationships to the state

Special report: Relationships to school, relationships to the state
By Lorenzo Barrault-Stella, Philippe Bongrand, Cédric Hugrée, Yasmine Siblot

In France, several research traditions have studied the school system, its development, and more particularly the social inequalities of schooling and their consequences in terms of the social and symbolic differentiation of social groups. However, these studies have rarely been concerned with examining how relationships to school contribute to wider relationships to public institutions. Nor have these questions been examined by research on the state: analyses of school policies do not test the hypothesis of the state dimension of parents’ and pupils’ relationships to school, and research devoted to “ordinary” relationships to institutions, while giving a decisive place to cultural resources, rarely examines the impact of practices and representations linked to schooling on relationships to other institutions. This special report aims to contribute to these questions by proposing to study school while bearing in mind the state and, conversely, to examine the scope of schooling when investigating the state. The more general aim of this special report is thus to place the issue of socialization to the state and the social uses of public institutions at the heart of the analysis of relationships to school, in order to understand how relationships to the state order and the various administrative and political institutions that make up the state are determined, constructed, and shaped.

  • sociology of the school
  • sociology of the state
  • institutional socialization
  • state order
  • the governed
  • social classes
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