SOCB26- March. 6. 2012
SOCB26 Lecture 7
How oppositional are high school dropouts?
While school factors are important determinants of dropping out, most dropouts have
mixed feelings about quitting school.
Most intend on returning to school.
Few abandoned their occupational aspirations – few anticipated low status jobs
In prof's study of Edmonton drop outs, it showed that they were less oppositional than they had
anticipated. High school drop outs were very willing to talk, even though the questions were
fairly sensitive. School-based was the most popular reason behind dropping out (learning
difficulties, poor grades, teachers they disliked, subjects they disliked) [about 60%]. The next
highest reason was due to personal reasons (family conflicts, pregnancy, etc.) [24%]. The last
reason was due to job/money-related [16%].
Solved immediate problems but many of them had a very difficult time finding a job. Not many
companies wanted to be associated with high school drop outs. Dropping out stigmatized them.
The experience was short-term gain for long-term pain! Found that most students who dropped
out had done a lot of skipping school previous to dropping out. Most students said that they were
pushed out rather than leaving on their own accord by guidance counsellors and teachers due to
zero tolerance policies. When they did this study, the part-time job phenomena for students was
occurring. They asked the drop-outs, would you go back to school? 38% said yes, but not high
school. 32% said yes. 19% said maybe. 12% said no. Complaints: didn’t like being treated like
children, didn't like the prevailing peer culture (cliquey, high-status background students were
more popular and had nothing to do with low-mid status students).
Gender: Female educational attainment now significantly exceeds male educational attainment.
Why? In the 1980's there was a concern over female educational attainment. This has changed.