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2018, Cilt 8, Sayı 3, Sayfa(lar) 542-551
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2018.295
The Effects of Expansion of Higher Education on Social Stratification in Turkey
Zonguldak Bulent Ecevit University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations, Zonguldak, Turkey
Keywords: Expansion of higher education, Social stratification, Social inequalities, Occupational status

This study investigates the effects of expansion of Turkish higher education in recent years on socio-economic inequalities based on social stratification. The analyses based on the data from TURKSTAT Household Labor Force Survey and Adult Education Research focus on the relationships between parental social status, education level of the individual and occupational status of the individual. It is found that as higher education expanded, the relationship between occupational status of the parents and occupational status of the individual have been weakened. However, it is also observed that the effect of parental occupational status on the educational level of the individual is still high, and thus the reproduction of social stratification is not weakened through equal access to education but via a compositional effect. As in the international literature, this weakening relationship is a result of the fact that the occupational status of the individuals with higher education is affected less from the occupational status of their parents. With recent expansion in higher education in Turkey, the number of individuals with a university degree has increased rapidly. Logistic regression analysis reveals that gender, parental occupational status, mother education level, father education level and cohort variables still have significant effects on the attainment of a university degree. Further analyses with data containing detailed information about parental and individual educational level and occupational status would show whether the social inequalities are perpetuated via advanced degrees or the quality of education.

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