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This paper focuses on the mobilization of knowledge on social matters in individual strategies and policy decisions in education, based on the example of how middle-class parents select a school for their children. First, it examines the criteria used by parents to classify schools and the procedures employed to gather information, and in doing so defines the nature of what is borrowed from sociological models. Second, the paper investigates the way sociological reasoning affects the analysis of why schools perform badly and the construction of proposed solutions by these social categories. It concludes by highlighting the interaction between sociologists, parents, and politicians in the development of state intervention in education.

Agnès van Zanten
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