ELP Guest Seminar with Dr Christopher Whitsel, North Dakota State University

Published: 11 May 2023

Dr Christopher Whitsel presents 'A Nested Model of Educational Participation: Evidence from Tajikistan'

Monday 26th June
Room 432, St Andrew's Building, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH

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A Nested Model of Educational Participation: Evidence from Tajikistan

Prominent models of educational participation used in policy decisions in resource poor countries categorize factors influencing educational participation as supply factors or demand factors. This view argues that school enrollments can increase simply through manipulating either demand or increasing educational inputs.

Contrary to the prevailing models, my research in Tajikistan demonstrates that educational access and attainment may more closely model an environmental and/or nested model. In resource poor countries, indeed schooling is an investment with various costs and benefits that parents weigh. The costs and benefits are shaped in turn by household, community, and state-level contexts. Examples from my research work also demonstrate tangible ways in which individual children have agency in countering prevailing household, community, and state-level influences on parents’ decisions.

In this seminar I will review the evidence from my research in Tajikistan to demonstrate the influence of household, community, and state-level influences on parents’ decision making, as well as evidence of children’s agency. I welcome comments and suggestions as I develop the work.

About the speaker

Christopher M. Whitsel is an Associate Professor of Sociology at North Dakota State University. He earned a PhD in Sociology, as well as an M.A. in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. His research focuses on trends in educational inequality and access to education in Central Asia. His recent published work includes, Polarization during Institutional Decline: Variation in Educational Attainment in Post-Soviet Central Asia, Parents’ Perspectives on the Educational Market in Central Asia, and Missing Pieces: Factors Affecting Girls’ School Attendance in Tajikistan, among others.

First published: 11 May 2023

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