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ERIC Number: EJ1098156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0195-6744
Between Structure and Agency: Contextualizing School Leaders' Strategic Responses to Market Pressures
Jabbar, Huriya
American Journal of Education, v122 n3 p399-431 May 2016
School choice is expected to place pressure on schools to improve to attract and retain students. However, little research has examined how competition for students actually operates in socially embedded education markets. Economic approaches tend to emphasize individual actors' choices and agency, an undersocialized perspective, whereas sociological approaches emphasize social structures such as race, class, and institutions over agency, an oversocialized view. In this study, I examine the interplay between structure and agency in education markets to (a) examine how a school's position in the market hierarchy influences how it is represented and viewed as a rival by network competitors and to (b) explore how a school's position in the network of competitors influences the possible and actual strategic actions that schools adopt in response to market pressures. Using case studies from New Orleans, I find that school leaders' positions in the socially constructed market hierarchy and in a social network of competitors influence their actions, which further determine their market positions.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A