23 Jun 2022 - 24 Jun 2022

University of BASEL


Educational institutions in Switzerland and their paradoxical contribution to social cohesion and desintegration

Conference of the Sociology of Education Research Network of the Swiss Sociological Association (SSA)


Institutionalised educational processes have extended biographically backwards with "early childhood education, care and education" and forwards with "lifelong learning". Educational institutions thus increasingly shape our individual life course. They are co-responsible for the social cohesion, well-being, and prosperity of the population in Switzerland. Education is integrating, qualifying and enables the transmission of central values and knowledge to the next generation. For this very reason, the sociology of education also critically asks under what conditions education fails to unfold this potential and through which structures and processes education can lead to stigmatisation, exclusion, and inequality, thus threatening social cohesion.

At this 5th meeting of the Sociology of Education Research Network of the Swiss Sociological Association, we would like to address these two paradoxical perspectives on educational institutions in Switzerland, also including institutions of non-formal learning such as early childhood education, extracurricular courses, or continuing education.

In doing so, we focus on the corresponding particularities of the institutions studied. These particularities include, among others, the structure of pre-compulsory, compulsory, and post-compulsory education; the question of political responsibility (education, world of work, social welfare); the uniquely Swiss situation of educational federalism; the question of access regulations or of financing.

Authors are invited to submit proposals that focus on the potentials as well as on the problematic issues of particular educational institutions in Switzerland. We especially invite proposals that address the following research questions:

1/ Which historical roots and social conditions – e.g. social structure, occupational structure, migration, demography, pandemic, economic situation – as well as educational structures – e.g. early selection, binary divide of pathways on upper secondary and tertiary level – strengthen or weaken the task of integration and qualification?

2/ Which rules, norms and values of the educational institution and society in general promote inclusion of individuals from different backgrounds, social affiliations, or disabilities, and which hinder it?

3/ Which orientations and practices of teachers and supervisors lead to successful education and socialisation of pupils, students, and apprentices without reification of social group memberships, which ones make this more difficult and (re)produce social classifications?

4/ Which reforms, policies, and discourses support and enable equity and equality in educational processes and outcomes; which impair and limit educational justice?

Keynote Speaker (confirmed)

Prof. Dr. Georg Felouzis (Université de Genève)

Topic: School structure

Dr. Kenneth Horvath (University of Lucerne)

Topic: Teacher practices

Prof. Dr. Raphael Zahnd (University of Teacher Education FHNW).

Topic: Inclusive education

Prof. Dr. Irene Kriesi (Swiss Federal University of Vocational Education and Training)

Topic: Vocational Education & Training


The conference will take place on 23-24 June 2022, beginning Thursday at 10.15 and running until Friday at 16.00.

We invite social scientists to contribute to the conference with paper presentations (approx. 15 minutes presentation plus 10 minutes of discussion).


A structured abstract of 500-600 words should cover topic, objective, research question, conceptual or theoretical framework, methodology or methods/ research instruments or sources used, (expected) outcomes or findings, conclusions, 2-3 references.

Please submit your abstracts (WORD and PDF) via E-MAIL: congress-soceduc.ph@fhnw.ch

The conference language is English.

Details are available from August 2021 on the website of the Research Network Sociology of Education


Deadline for submitting abstracts:          15 November 2021
Notification of acceptance of abstracts:  15 January 2022
Conference registration:                          15 January – 31 May 2022

Conference fee

50 CHF.


Please feel free to contact the organizing committee (congress-soceduc.ph@fhnw.ch) should you have any questions.

Veranstaltung übernehmen als iCal