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Educação e Pesquisa

versão impressa ISSN 1517-9702versão On-line ISSN 1678-4634


MACEDO, Eunice  e  ARAUJO, Helena C.. Making the “best” of private education: building ties and meanings in an elite Portuguese school. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2020, vol.46, e218386.  Epub 12-Mar-2020. ISSN 1678-4634.

This paper departs from sociology of education to document and theorize the social, cultural and political dimensions of the education of young adults from the economic elite in a private school that was created, in reaction to mass schooling and as a way to ensure elites the distinction formerly provided by public education. The paper brings to the fore the contexts and consequences associated with the rise of privatization. On the basis of an ethnographic incursion for more than ten years in that private school in Northern Portugal complemented by focus group discussion with young adults in upper secondary education, the paper highlights the ways in which this group of the economic elites builds their social ties and constructs meanings within the school. Private schooling shapes and reinforces the status of the economic elites. However, tensions between inequality and privilege may arise within this process. We argue that if there is an individual action in the interpretation and construction of social reality, this school, has particular impact on the students as members of the global elite. By means of this educational context, which many times reinforces the expectations of status and upper mobility of the families, through education, these students are seduced by (the power of) consumption and most of them are willing to take part in the national and international labor markets and competition.

Palavras-chave : Elite education; Privatization; Labor markets; International competition.

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