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ERIC Number: EJ849539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0195-6744
Geography in Parental Choice
Bell, Courtney
American Journal of Education, v115 n4 p493-521 Aug 2009
If we are to fully understand the demand side of school choice, we have to understand geography. But geography is not simply distance and commute time. It is also neighborhood and community. Using two conceptions of geography--space and place--I investigate how and when geography factored into parents' thinking. Drawing on spatial analyses of parents' choice sets, the schools within two miles of their homes, and longitudinal in-depth interviews, I describe a range of ways in which geography shaped 36 parents' choices of middle and high schools in Detroit. Parents considered a small fraction of the schools near their homes; however, all the parents discussed geographic characteristics of schools. The role geography played in the choice process ranged from nonexistent to framing. By investigating how parents' geographic preferences played out with respect to their other preferences and the existing supply of schools, this study contributes to the field's increasingly nuanced understanding of parents' decision making. (Contains 3 notes, 3 tables, and 4 figures.)
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: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan