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Travel-to-school distances in Sweden 2000-2006: changing school geography with equality implications
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.
Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Transport Geography, ISSN 0966-6923, E-ISSN 1873-1236, Vol. 23, 35-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Twenty years ago the Swedish school system underwent serious change in that students were given the right to choose their school, though those living near each school had priority. Since then, there has been a new geographical debate concerning where students live and go to school and possible implications of this on student educational achievement and educational equality, as well as on students' daily lives. In studies of changes in the school system, travel distances to school have so far been less studied in the Swedish context. In this paper we will analyze the changes in distance to school for 15-year-olds, from 2000 to 2006, in order to identify who, and in which context, is traveling shorter/longer distances, and thus performing a school choice. We use register data from the database PLACE, Uppsala University. The focus is not on effects on achievement, nor school composition, but instead on the difference in ability/possibility of using school choice as measured by distance. A time-geography approach concerning variation in constraints between students is used. School choice may be a matter of preference for certain schools, but importantly, it might also be a matter of time and space restrictions for families with fewer resources: that is, with less spatial capital and a limited opportunity structure. Results show that travel to school distances have increased since the year 2000. Foreign-born students are traveling shorter distances, except for those with highly educated parents. Shorter distances are also travelled by students from families with social assistance and for visible minorities in areas where such minorities exist. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 23, 35-43 p.
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-176269DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.03.022ISI: 000306047300005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-176269DiVA: diva2:534696
Available from: 2012-06-18 Created: 2012-06-18 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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