SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Montt, G. (2011). Cross-national differences in educational achievement inequality. Sociology of Education, 84(1), 49-68. doi:10.1177/0038040710392717

Abstract: School systems are called not only to instruct and socialize students but also to differentiate among them. Although much research has investigated inequalities in educational outcomes associated with students’ family background and other ascriptive traits, little research has examined cross-national differences in the total amount of differentiation that school systems produce, the total achievement inequality. This article evaluates whether two dimensions of educational systems—variations in opportunities to learn and intensity of schooling—are associated with achievement inequality independent of family background. It draws data from the Programme for International Student Assessment for more than 50 school systems and models the variance in achievement. Findings suggest that decreasing the variability in opportunities to learn—in the form of greater homogeneity in teacher quality and the absence of tracking—within the school system might reduce achievement inequality. More intense schooling is also related to lower achievement inequality to the extent that this intensity is homogeneously distributed within the school system, particularly in the form of a more highly qualified teacher workforce.

Article 2: Lehmann, D. (2013). Religion as heritage, religion as belief: Shifting frontiers of secularism in Europe, the USA and Brazil. International Sociology, 28(6), 645-662. doi:10.1177/0268580913503894

Abstract: This article draws a distinction between religion as heritage and as belief, and also shows the complications which arise in predominantly Christian countries when ‘new arrivals’ and evangelical, Pentecostal, or conversion-led, movements claim the recognition which has historically been afforded to hegemonic churches. Using evidence from Europe, the USA and Brazil it reveals the uncertain implementation of the state–religion boundary in the law, in taxation and in politics, and shows how even the most secular states allow religious institutions special exemptions, albeit in different ways. It asks whether religion is not producing demands amounting to a separate citizenship and why religious expression should require privileged treatment additional to freedom of speech in a secular world where religious affiliation is regarded as a matter of personal choice. It also questions the assumption of market theories of religion that more and more intense religion is good for religion and good for society.