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The Effects of Gender and Socioeconomic Status on Academic Motivation: The Case of Lithuania

Authors: Ausra Turcinskaite-Balciuniene, Jonas Balciunas, Gediminas Merkys


The problematic of gender and socioeconomic status biased differences in academic motivation patterns is discussed. Gender identity is understood according to symbolic interactionism perspective: as a result of reflected appraisals, social comparisons, self-attributions, and identifications, shaped by social environment and family context. The effects of socioeconomic status on academic motivation are conceptualized according to Bourdieu’s habitus concept, reflecting the role of unconscious and internalized cultural signals, proper to low and high socioeconomic status family contexts. Since families differ by various socioeconomic features, the hypothesis about possible impact of parents’ socioeconomic status on their children’s academic motivation interfering with gender socialization effects is held. The survey, aiming to seize gender differences in academic motivation and self-recorded improvementoriented efforts as a result of socialization processes operating in the families of low and high socioeconomic status, was designed. The results of Lithuanian higher education students’ survey are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Gender, Socioeconomic Status, socialization, academic motivation

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