Adult Education

Adult education, inequality, and regime change: the case of soviet and post-soviet russia (joint work with Theodor P. Gerber)

Life-course research argues that initial advantages in educational careers are likely to be reproduced and amplified in later educational and labor market opportunities. Using longitudinal methods on linked data from the Gender and Generation and the Education and Employment Surveys for Russia, this study examines whether and how enrollment in distinct types of adult education can compensate for these initial inequalities in socialist and post-socialist Russia. We have found that individuals who were initially educationally disadvantaged but occupationally advantaged are more likely to upgrade. In turn, sidesteppers tend to be initially educationally advantaged, while occupational advantage is less relevant. Nevertheless, the collapse of the Soviet Union reduced opportunities for all groups, particularly for the previously disadvantaged. I conclude that adult education might lessen or exacerbate social inequality depending on the definition of social inequalities. Nevertheless, liberalization reforms have clearly strengthened the exacerbation effect of adult education on social inequality.