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By Manfred Niessen

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Extra resources for Comparative Research on Education. Overview, Strategy and Applications in Eastern and Western Europe

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And in spite of explicit statements on the limitations of cohort analysis in Volume I, differences between the cohorts are later on labelled as "processes", "developments", etc. As has often been pointed out by now, this interpretation of processes must be confined to longitudinal approaches. Second, the questionnaire was not developed according to theoretical considera17 tions or interests. The authors explicitly abstain from a coherent theoretical approach . Instead, data are said to remain open for alternative theoretical questions and models of analysis.

According to Turner the British and the American social class system differ in their normative orientation with regard to social mobility. In his view the British social system is characterised by "sponsored" mobility, the American by "contest" mobility. Treiman and Terrell take up this point and hypothesise that "if these distinctions between normative orientations have any utility in helping us understand differences between the British and American stratification systems, they must be reflected in the actual experiences of the respective populations (.

Before we turn to the review of available comparative studies, some reference to methodological difficulties must be made. Gostkowski (1978) conducted a study for UNESCO on educational attainment and its distribution in a number of selected West and East European countries. The study concentrated on methodological and measurement problems of available relevant census data. On the basis of a detailed survey of these data, he concludes that various statistical measures can be seen as quantitative consequences of different general approaches or even ideological preferences (Gostkowski 1978, p.

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