Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A. Fiona Pearson
School segregation occurs when minority or subordinated groups of individuals are separated from majority or dominant groups in formal schooling institutions. The segregation may occur between schools (interschool segregation) or within schools (intraschool segregation). A historically salient example of interschool segregation in the United States occurred during the period of Jim Crow (early 20th century) with the state-sanctioned formation of “colored” schools and “white” schools. Intraschool segregation occurs within a single schooling facility when students from subordinated or dominant groups are “tracked” or steered into particular classes based on their group membership, typically derived from ascribed characteristics such as gender, race, or class status, not interest or aptitude. Historically, the benefits and drawbacks of school segregation have been vigorously debated; the conclusions of such debates tend to reflect cultural belief systems, particularly beliefs regarding the dynamics of race, ethnicity, and gender and their relationship to social inequality in contemporary society. ...