Elites, Privilege and Excellence

Elites, Privilege and Excellence

The National and Global Redefinition of Educational Advantage
Agnès van Zanten, Stephen J. Ball, Brigitte Darchy-Koechlin
  • Harvard college graduates (Photo Zilinsky CC-BY-ND-2.0)Harvard college graduates (Photo Zilinsky CC-BY-ND-2.0)

Elites, Privilege and Excellence

The National and Global Redefinition of Educational Advantage

Agnès van Zanten & Stephen Ball, with Brigitte Darchy-Koechlin

Routledge - World Yearbook of Education 2015 Series - February 2015

This book focuses on educational elites and inequality, particularly on the ways in which established and emergent groups located at the top of the social hierarchy and power structure reproduce, establish or redefine their position.

The volume is organized around three main issues:

  • analyzing the way in which parents, students and graduates in positions of social advantage use their assets and capitals in relation to educational strategies, and how these are different for old and new and cultural and economic elites;
  • studying how elite institutions have adapted their strategies to take into account changes in the social structure, in policy and in their institutional environment and exploring the impact of these strategies on educational systems at the national and global levels;
  • mapping the new global dynamics in elite education and how new forms of 'international education' and 'transnational cultural capital' as well as new global educational elite pathways shape elite students’ identities, status and trajectories.

Making use of a social and an institutional approach as well as a focus on practices and policies, the volume draws on research conducted on secondary schools and on higher education.
In addition, the global contributions within the book allow for a comparison and contrast of situations in different countries. This results in a comprehensive picture of common processes and national differences concerning advantage and excellence and a thorough examination of the impact of globalization on the strategies, identities and trajectories of elite groups and individuals alongside more general cultural and economic processes.Elites, Privileges and Excellence (2015) ISBN 978-1-138-78642-4


 Class and Family Educational Strategies

  • Elites: Some Questions for a New Research Agenda
  • A Family Affair: Reproducing Elite Positions and Preserving the Ideals of Meritocratic Competition and Youth Autonomy
  • Elite Families and Schools in Buenos Aires: The Role of Tradition and School Social Networks in the Production and Reproduction of Privilege

Elite Institutions in National and Local Contexts

  • Changes in Elite Education in the United States
  • The Changing Strategies of Social Closure in Elite Education in Brazil
  • Germany’s Hesitant Approach to Elite Education. Stratification Processes in German Secondary and Higher Education
  • The Boundaries of Privilege: Elite English schools’ Geographies and Depictions of a Local Community

The Impact of Globalization on Institutional and Student Identities

  • Globalisation and Elite Universities in China
  • The Discourse of 'Asia Rising' in an Elite Indian School
  • National and International Students’ Definition of Merit in French Grandes Ecoles
  • Globalizing Femininity in Elite Schools for Girls: Some Paradoxical Failures of Success

Elite Institutions, Elite positions and Elite Jobs

  • Elite Universities, Elite Schooling and Reproduction in Britain
  • Paths to the Elite in France and in the United States
  • Contextually-Bound Authoritative Knowledge: A Comparative Studyof British, French and Norwegian Administrative Elites’ Merit and Skills
  • Higher Education, Corporate Talent and the Stratification of Knowledge Work in the Global Labour Market


Présentation de l'ouvrage par Agnès van Zanten (vidéo)
Publisher's presentation (Routledge)

Retour en haut de page