Gender segregation in vocational education: Introduction
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This introductory chapter develops the overall research focus and the aim of the present special issue ‘Gender segregation in vocational education’. Against the backdrop of strong horizontal gender segregation in vocational education and training (VET), we ask how institutional arrangements affect gendered (self-)selection into VET, and to what extent the patterns of the latter vary by context and over time. In order to expand our knowledge about the impact of educational offers and policies on gendered educational pathways and gender segregation in the labour market, we have gathered comparative quantitative studies that analyse the relationship between national variations in the organization of VET and cross-national differences in educational and occupational gender segregation from an institutional perspective. Following a review of the core literature within the field of gender segregation in VET, this introduction presents a discussion of education system classifications and institutional level mechanisms based on the contributions made in this volume. We then discuss gendered educational choices at the individual level, with particular emphasis on variation across the life course. Finally, we conclude our introductory chapter by commenting on the main contributions of the volume as a whole, as well as addressing suggestions for further research.