Researching race/ethnicity and educational inequality in the Netherlands: a critical review of the research literature between 1980 and 2008
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
British educational research journal / Europa publications limited. - Supplement
, p. 1-39
University of Antwerp
This article describes and critically analyzes how educational sociologists in the Netherlands have studied the relationship between race/ethnicity and educational inequality between 1980 and 2008. Five major research traditions are identified: (1) political arithmetic; (2) racism and ethnic discrimination; (3) school characteristics; (4) school choice; and (5) family background. The development of particular research traditions is explained by pointing to more general developments in terms of social policy and intellectual climate in the Netherlands. This study builds on a similar, recently published literature review that focuses on the UK context by critically comparing the development and findings from these different bodies of research literature. The conclusions suggest that the Netherlands, like England, developed strong research traditions in this area of research since the 1980s and that both countries can learn from each other and advance future research in this area by developing more comprehensive research agendas. More generally, this review illustrates the usefulness of conducting nationally comparative literature reviews in assessing the development of particular bodies of research and in bringing together knowledge produced in different national settings.