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Never Good Enough*

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

AbstractIn different schooling systems throughout the world children of socially advantaged groups experience a higher degree of academic success than children of minority or underprivileged groups. However, there is evidence that academic success comes at a cost. In this paper, based on the findings of an ethnographic research at a Spanish middle-upper class high school, it is argued that secondary school socialization has a strong focus on the future, and it fosters feelings of anxiety in the children of elites. Students believe that a good academic trajectory is the cornerstone to a successful career and they try to take individual control of their future lives without learning how to influence their competitive social context.

Affiliations: 1: FPU, Department of Social Anthropology, Universidad Complutense de


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