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Education-based status

Exploring the institutional effects of education
PhD ceremony:J.J.L. (Jochem) van Noord, MSc
When:September 02, 2021
Supervisors:prof. dr. R. (Russell) Spears, prof. dr. B. Spruyt
Co-supervisor:dr. T. (Toon) Kuppens
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences

Education features almost constantly in political and social discussion, but its value and its effects are often understood as secondary to other realms of our societies. So, while education’s wide-ranging influence should be apparent due to its ceaseless presence in our society, it’s often not understood as having its own distinctive influence on for instance, the economy, culture, and how people perceive themselves and others. In this doctoral thesis I investigate how educational level influences the ‘status’ of individuals, in other words their esteem in society, and how this can affect their behavior. In this thesis I show that educational level indeed influences how people experience their own status position in society. I also document that this influence is a more direct repercussion of educational level in countries with more higher educated, such as The Netherlands. In these countries there is a larger difference in feelings of misrecognition between higher and less educated, and these feelings of misrecognition are then likely to increase political alienation. Concerning voting behavior, both higher and lower educated have a preference for higher educated political candidates. This seems to be the results of a perception of higher educated as more competent, but for higher educated individuals specifically this also seems to result from intentionally favoring one’s own group. With equal competence the less educated do not or barely seem to focus on the educational level of political candidates.