Tradition Making and Tradition Breaking: Female students' Perspectives on Education

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Female students' traditional and non-traditional choices of education is the subject of this study. Facing difficult choices on different levels of the educational system girls often, statistically, make traditional choices, but they also in different ways break traditional patterns. The study takes its starting-point in the following issues:

What is the girls' understanding of the formal liberty of choice in the educational system? Is there in the girls' approach to education any indication of their breaking traditional patterns of segregation, and how are their perspectives changing over time?

The issues are addressed by a qualitative, longitudinal interview study. The fifteen interviewees were strategically chosen to represent different housing and educational environments. For a succession of years, from the ninth and last year of comprehensive school until two years after they had left or would have left upper secondary school, the girls were interviewed about their life experiences and the choices associated with the transition from one school form to another. The interviews are qualitative, thematically structured, allowing the interviewees free scope to tell about themselves and their lives.

The girls' narratives give us a better understanding of the strength of tradition, but also demonstrate the dynamics in social processes of change. Through choices of education, in the field of tension between individual hopes and expectations and institutional and structural possibilities and obstacles, we get an insight into how social (socio-economic, sex, ethnic) segregation patterns are reproduced but also changed.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Sociology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1998 Mar 12
Print ISBNs91-89078-27-6
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 1998-03-12
Time: 10:15
Place: Edens hörsal, Paradisgatan 5H, Lund
External reviewer(s)
Name: Svensson, Lennart
Title: Docent
Affiliation: University of Gothenburg

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • self-discipline
  • self-denial
  • self-realization
  • educational perspectives
  • subject
  • narrative
  • the formal liberty of choice
  • gender
  • education
  • sex
  • Sociology
  • biography and history
  • self-assertion
  • social segregation

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