The Influence of Family in the Academic and Professional Trajectories

By Harkaitz Zubiri.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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This paper analyses the influence of family in academic and professional trajectories. This paper does not accept the dichotomy between the theories of meritocracy and reproduction. The discourse of meritocracy affirms that the achievements in the academic and professional trajectories are based exclusively on individual merits. On the contrary, the perspective of the reproduction theories focuses on the importance of family. The correspondence theory is one of the reproduction theories and it describes a reproduction dynamic in which the influence of family determines academic and professional trajectories. The qualitative research on these trajectories shows the importance of family as a strong conditioning element on the academic and professional trajectories. However, this research also shows how the influence of family does not determine the development of trajectories. Family is a social institution in which reproduction is one of the aims, but it is not the only one. Besides, the transmission of family strategy is never completely successful. Moreover, the agents involved in the transmission within the family do not mechanically perform according to their social position. They are always interpreting their situation. Therefore, determinist transmission is not possible.

Keywords: Family, Reproduction, Correspondence, Meritocracy, Academic and Professional Trajectories

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.47-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 393.932KB).

Dr. Harkaitz Zubiri

Assistant Professor, Department of Didactics and School Organisation, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain

Harkaitz Zubiri (San Sebastian, Basque Country, 1977) is an assistant professor of the University of the Basque Country. He studied at Leipzig University, graduated in English Philology at the University of Deusto, and graduated in Sociology and Teaching and received a Ph.D in Sociology at the University of the Basque Country. He had a four years doctorate research grant from the Basque Government. He is interested in social inequality, minority language and culture, education, literature and working conditions. He has published three books: Zakur Kale (Susa, 2007), short stories about contemporary life; Bertsolaritza. Tradizio Modernoa (University of the Basque Country, 2007) an essay on the current Basque oral literature; and Ibilbide akademiko-profesionalak prekarizazio estratifikatuaren garaian. Meritokrazia auzitan (University of the Basque Country, 2011), an essay on meritocracy.