2002 年 70 巻 p. 125-142
During the decade of the 1990s, an economic recession made us come to see inequality and injustice as matters of social concern. In spite of the recession, however, we experienced a “relatively high” expansion of education. A series of empirical studies have provided evidence that there were great differences in educational attainment by social origin. In this paper, I examine the changes in inequality of educational opportunity after World War II, by analyzing two data sets, the 1995 SSM (A) Survey data and Senior High School Students survey data conducted in 1981 and 1997, focusing especially on changes in the 1990s.
Two aspects of educational stratification are analyzed:(1) the effects on educational attainment of academic achievement during junior high school and of the type of high school attended, and (2) the effects of the economic conditions of the family on educational attainment.
Academic achievement in junior high school and the type of high school attended mediate the influence from social origin on educational attainment. The effect of social origin on academic achievement and on the type of high school attended, and the impact of these variables on educational attainment (or educational aspiration) have become stronger for women. This shows that academic achievement and the type of school attended have become important in the process of women's educational attainment. However, this does not mean that this effect is stronger for women than for men. Rather, men and women have come in recent years to have the same process of educational stratification.
Family economic conditions, which directly influence educational attainment, had a strong effect until the 1970s. In the 1980s, their effect decreased, but became stronger again in the 1990s due to a fall of the higher education enrollment ratio in lower status families. Social origin still has a strong direct impact on educational attainment after controlling for intermediate variables such as academic achievement.