Educational choices and reflexivity

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The theme of educational choice covers, since many years, a great interest in sociology of education. It is located in the heart of rational actor s theory and in the analysis of the micro and macro consequences in a context of advanced modernization, which implies the complexity of factors which influence the individuals preference system as well as their decisional process. Therefore, in the Italian as well as in the international literature, they have been developed many analyses of educational choices based on complex model of causality, and on the assumption of bounded rationality giving attention more to contingent factors rather than structural ones. With the development of paradigms focused on individualization, furthermore, the individual agent is more and more put in the center of decisional situated problems, which are linked to a will of deciding in any case , on the spot, while the subject is not always able to forecast events. Among young people, especially, we do see at a strong dynamic between autonomy and heteronomy, as basis of the possibility to grow; the choice of educational places, paths, levels become more and more self-focused, experimental discontinuous, reversible, showing in it all the individuals reflective potential. The quota of unawareness, however, is still significant, and so is the numbers of outputs that are not expected, not necessarily negative. Innovation and creativity can be read in the fracture between ordinary channels of choice; fragility and social immobility are on the contrary the traits of undone choices and conditions of exclusion and passivity AIMS AND CONTENTS OF THE ISSUE The monographic number of the journal is amid at developing and analysis of the reflective agent in front of educational choices (choice of school path, type of schools, establishment, ..). We do want to compare the individual s ability to formulate projects/personal adhesion (on the actor side) with the system of opportunities offered (on the system side) that can be reached by him/her, and its ability to catch the structural constrains which exists not only in the educational offers, but also in the possibility of taking advantage of it , directly or indirectly The general setting our of the monographic number privileges the actor s perspectives, so as to highlight the contradictions where he/she acts in the tange (unavoidable) of socialization agents (school, family, church, work, mass media, leisure activities center, etc ). We do not establish in advance the sort of subjectivities implied in the choice (young people or their families?); it is not limited to the group of choice to be analyzed (educational channels, grades, choice between school and work ). The aim of the analysis will be that of building a sort of phenomenology of the educational choice, in a time of mistrust toward the future, of invisibility of the constraints and criteria of exclusion, of permanence of social discriminating elements new and old (status, gender, generation, ethnicity, territory).
Lingua originaleEnglish
EditoreItalian Journal of sociology of education
Numero di pagine161
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • decision-making process
  • educational choice
  • guidance services
  • orientation
  • personal agency
  • reflexivity
  • school choice
  • sociology of education
  • sociology of educational choice
  • theory of rational choice


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