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Secondary schools as social capital builders: opportunity structures and response strategies in four cases in Spain

Holguin, Catalina (2013) Secondary schools as social capital builders: opportunity structures and response strategies in four cases in Spain. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In 2006 Spain undertook a programme of building social capital as a means of bolstering social cohesion, trust, democratic values and mutual tolerance in the country. The thesis analyses the attempt by the Spanish government, starting in 2006, to build social capital and the role assigned to Spanish secondary schools. The thesis looks at the formulation of the policy and its subsequent transposing into regional legislation and implementation at the grassroots level. The empirical analysis assesses the policy’s implementation in four secondary schools in two regions-- Aragon and Castile Leon --immediately after the relevant legislation was put into place. Focus of the investigation is on the role that the regions and schools have played in the operationalisation of the national strategy. The thesis hypothesises that in the Spanish case: if the government can provide a well formulated and structured social capital building strategy, then secondary schools will be in a position to operate as effective social capital builders. The “dependent” variable in the thesis is defined as the secondary schools’ capacity to implement the national strategy that is based on six policy pillars. Thus, the basic unit of analysis in the thesis is the individual school and its capacity to carry out the functions stipulated in the national and regional legislation. The “independent” variables represent the components of the institutional and operational context. The study has found differences in the approach adopted by the two regions in the transfer of the national policy to the regional level indicating that it takes time for lower level institutions to fully put into place national policies. Accordingly, changes need to be made in the operationalisation of the six policy pillars as well as in encouraging the schools to become more pro-active in their implementation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Catalina Holguin
Library of Congress subject classification: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Sets: Departments > European Institute

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