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The legitimation of privilege in Chilean elite schools: From social responsibility to the discourse of merit

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Published: 2021-07-19

Author

Tomas Ilabaca Turri

Université catholique de Louvain

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6840-9003

Keywords: Elite schools; Chilean elites; privilege; identity of educational establishments; Chile

Abstract

Chilean elite schools have historically been spaces to ensure the homogeneity and intergenerational reproduction of privileged groups. This article presents a part of the results of an ethnographic research in two elite schools, aimed to answer how each one understands and legitimizes their privileged position. The results show how both institutions deal with privilege in different ways. In the first case, through its educational project, the school seeks that students understand themselves as privileged, and its legitimation is through involving them with the country's social problems as a “hallmark” of the school’s identity. The second school understands and legitimizes the privilege through processes of resignification, conceiving it as merit. The article then suggests a broader way of thinking about the transmission of privilege, where it is necessary to contemplate the dynamics of differentiation of the establishments in market contexts and also the socio-educational correspondence between the types of projects, the strategies and the internal divisions in the elites.

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Author Biography

Tomas Ilabaca Turri

Université catholique de Louvain

Sociólogo y magister en Política Educativa de la Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Candidato a doctor en Ciencias sociales y políticas en la Universidad Católica de Lovaina. Investigador doctoral del Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur la Socialisation, Education et Formation (GIRSEF). Mis áreas de interés son la educación de las elites, educación privada, desigualdad y segregación escolar.

 

PDF (Español)

Published: 2021-07-19

How to Cite

Ilabaca Turri, T. (2021). The legitimation of privilege in Chilean elite schools: From social responsibility to the discourse of merit. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 98. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.5618