According to a new study, societal inequity persists regardless of educational attainment – notably for men. “Education is not the equalizer that many people believe it is,” says the study’s author, Anna Manzoni, an associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University.
The study sought to ascertain the extent to which a parent’s social standing benefits their children. The study looked at the wages of adult children as a proxy for professional success and used the educational achievements of parents as a proxy for social status.
To address the research topic, Manzoni studied data from participants who were interviewed as part of the National Survey of College Graduates between 2010 and 2017. Manzoni focused on US citizens between the ages of 35 and 67 who reported on their wages and parental education. The total sample size was 56,819 people, with 32,337 men and 24,482 women.
This research demonstrates that social origin matters, but it is unclear what drives this structural inequity. Is social capital involved? Do you have network access? Disparities in financial resources? Is family background becoming more significant when a greater proportion of the population obtains a college diploma? Is there an advantage at the start of a child’s career? There is still a lot of opportunity for more investigation on this topic.Anna Manzoni
The study discovered that if a son obtains a degree similar to that of his father, the son will earn more money than if his father did not attain the same level of education. Consider the case where Son A becomes a doctor and has a parent who is also a doctor. Meanwhile, Son B goes on to become a doctor, despite the fact that his parents only have bachelor’s degrees. Despite having the same degree, Son A will earn more money than Son B, according to the study. This effect exists for daughters as well, but it is considerably weaker.
“The effect we discover here essentially preserves social stratification for sons, but not so much for daughters,” Manzoni says. “We like to imagine that if a person goes to college, becomes a lawyer, or becomes a doctor, they have’made it.’ But, as we can see, even a master’s degree is unlikely to put you on the same professional footing as someone who received the same degree but started higher up the social ladder.
“One takeaway is that improving access to school is important, but education alone will not fix our society’s inequality problems,” Manzoni says. “This research demonstrates that social origin matters, but it is unclear what drives this structural inequity,” Manzoni says. “Is social capital involved? Do you have network access? Disparities in financial resources? Is family background becoming more significant when a greater proportion of the population obtains a college diploma? Is there an advantage at the start of a child’s career? There is still a lot of opportunity for more investigation on this topic.”
A good education has the potential to significantly promote gender equality. Education can assist in addressing gender inequities in earnings, poverty, reproductive autonomy, and political power. It has the potential to significantly improve the health of women and their children.
Inequality in the economy is increasing. The type of education system a country has will have a significant impact on its ability to respond to this. Individual children’s access to high-quality education provides a path out of poverty and illness and toward the realization of basic rights. It has the power to change people’s lives and lift children out of poverty and marginalization. It functions as a leveller and an agent for greater equality in society. Rapidly investing in quality public education for all should be a priority for all nations.