Dissertation Abstracts

(Un-)known inequality? On (de-)differentiation and belonging among students at Grandes Écoles in times of internationalization

Author: Tabea Schroer, tabea.schroer@uni-bielefeld.de
Department: Sociology
University: Bielefeld University, Germany
Supervisor: Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Elite , Belonging , Higher Education , France
Areas of Research: Migration , Education , Biography and Society


Since the beginning of the new millennium, the student body of the Grandes Écoles, the French Elite Universities, has changed due to new procedures governing the access to and preparation for these Schools. In my doctoral research project, I investigate (de-) differentiation and belonging among students at Parisian Grandes Écoles, i.e. the cultural categorization of human beings. I focus on the experiences students have, when studying at a Grande École. Making use of a methodical combination consisting of narrative biographical interviews and participant observation, constellations of belonging that become relevant when studying at a Grande École are investigated. Of special interest are the social differentiations that individuals connect to when 'doing belonging' in the social setting of a Grande École. Hence, belonging is understood as social practice. The doctoral research project connects to a qualitatively working sociology of migration and has the potential of advancing the development of sociological theories of belonging from a praxeological and a biographical-theoretical perspective.

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