Social Inequality and Changes in Students’ Expected Political Participation in Chile


To what extent does social origin impact the disposition of students toward becoming politically involved in their future adult life? Using Chilean data from Civic Education Study, 1999 (N = 5688), and International Civic and Citizenship Education Study, 2009 (N = 5192), the present research analyzes, on the one hand, the impact of socioeconomic variables on attitudes toward future political participation and, on the other hand, explores to what extent the association between social origin and participation has changed over time. The analysis is performed in a multilevel framework, to account for both family socioeconomic status and individual school characteristics. The results support the hypothesis that social origin continues to have a strong influence on students’ attitudes toward political participation, in the context of the two measurement points. The resulting discussion focuses on the role of schools in reducing socioeconomic differences, an issue that acquires additional relevance in societies with high inequality such as Chile.

Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 9(2) 140–156.