Теории высшего образования и процесс выбор специальности абитуриентами: Социально-сетевой анализ
The article starts with reviewing of major sociological approaches to higher education (education as accumulation of professional capital, education as class distinction, education as age moratorium, etc.). We then derive hypotheses from each of the theories on how the process of choosing between specialties is organized. Each of the models of student choice is then tested against objective data on application to different specialties of a large university using multiple regression and social network analysis. It seems that the model of opportunistic professionalism fits the data best: the prospective students choose their preferred specialty early, probably on the basis of projected financial returns, and prepare for them purposefully for a long period of time. When it proves unavailable, however, they easily shift to less attractive options. Paid education programs serve as inferior goods to the public-funded ones.