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2011 - Southern Political Science Association Pages: 1 pages || Words: 256 words || 
1. Adachi, Tsuyoshi., Endo, Masahisa., Iida, Takeshi. and Kamaga, Kohei. "Under What Condition Can Voters Make Rational Choice?: Voter Preference and Choice in Old-Age Pension Reform in Japan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel InterContinental, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan 05, 2011 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Democratic theories assume that voters are rational in the sense that they have transitive preference over alternatives, and make choice according to their preferences. Decent amount of literature, however, has shown that most voters are actually irrational, lacking political knowledge necessary for rational preference formation and failing to make “correct” choice. Under what condition can voters make rational choice?
Previous studies have explored this question, using such independent variables as political interest, education, heuristics, and time and monetary incentives. These studies are, however, not necessarily successful in examining to what extent voters are rational simply because they do not directly test voter rationality.
In this paper, we test to what extent voters are capable of rational choice, and what the determinants of rational choice are, using original questions in a survey conducted in August 2010 in Japan. First, in the survey, respondents were asked which of three characteristics of old age pension systems is more preferred pairwisely so that one can tell whether they have transitive preferences. Second, respondents were asked which of two old age pension systems is more preferred so that one can tell if they make choices consistent with their preferences. Finally, we explore the determinants of rational preference formation and choice. This study will bridge the study of political psychology with the study of social choice theory, and contribute to creating sustainable social and political systems.

2013 - International Communication Association Pages: unavailable || Words: 2151 words || 
2. Ross, Travis. and Cummings, James. "How Much Choice Do Gamers Want? The Effects of Choice Assortment and Complexity on Enjoyment, Frustration, and Regret" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England, Jun 17, 2013 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The psychological literature has identified a “paradox of choice”: people prefer greater autonomy and larger assortments of options, yet may become frustrated when trying to ascertain the optimal choice among options that are difficult to compare. Such a situation is increasingly plausible in popular video games, in which players are presented with various options during game play, yet may find it frustrating to discern the best choice for assuring in-game success. This study investigates whether the conditions players face when making choices in video gaming environments are likely to illicit such a negative effect, potentially running counter to their goal as venues for fun and enjoyment. In addition, it attempts to differentiate the effects of assortment size and information complexity to determine how choices in game environments may be designed so as to offer players the freedom of choice they desire while avoiding the cognitive load they may not.

2015 - UCEA Annual Convention Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
3. Potterton, Amanda. "Different Choices: A Public School Community’s Responses to School Choice Reforms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, CA, Nov 17, 2015 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Debates about school choice contrast concepts of freedom and equality with concerns about equity, justice, achievement, democratic accountability, profiting management organizations, and racial and class segregation. Arizona’s “market”-based school choice programs include over 600 charter schools. This qualitative analysis focuses on one of Arizona’s district public school’s parent group and its surrounding community, which experienced school changes, including demographic shifts, lowered test scores, failed overrides, and the opening of “high-profile” charter school organizations near their school.

2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 1258 words || 
4. Meshulam, Assaf. "Minoritized Middle-Class Parental Choice: Palestinian Parents’ Choice of Binational Bilingual Schooling in Israel" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, Mar 05, 2017 <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Purposes
Parental choice of schools has gained prominence in educational reform and research over the last few decades (Berends et al. 2009). Most of this research is Western-oriented, focusing on White middle-class parental choice of charter schools and voucher programs. Emerging research is challenging this traditional perspective by looking at South/East locales (Elacqua, Schneider and Buckley 2006; Joshi 2014; Xiaoxin 2014), the choices of Black middle-class parents in the UK (Ball et al. 2013; Vincent et al. 2012), and Black working-class parental choice in the US (Pedroni 2005). This research is also directing attention to other types of schools that participate in the educational market, such as magnet schools and specialized programs (e.g. Smrekar and Goldring 1999) and urban public schools (e.g. Cucchiara and Hovart 2009; James et al. 2010; Billingham and Kimelberg 2013; Posey 2012; Posey-Maddox 2014). In line with this important development in the research, this study explores middle-class Palestinian parental choice of unique Arabic-Hebrew bilingual schools in Israel and seeks to: (1) challenge the Western-dominated construction of parental choice, especially given that marketized school choice policy has become a global phenomenon; (2) problematize assumptions about middle-class choice-making as rational and guided by a liberal set of values and world-view and challenging this approach as colored by a neoliberal Western perspective; and (3) offer a nuanced perspective of the school choices of middle-class parents from marginalized communities.

Theoretical Framework and Perspective
The study applies a Bourdieusian understanding of parental education choice as class consumption behavior and its intersection with race/ethnicity and nationality, to analyze divergences in the decision-making process of Palestinian parents in choosing these bilingual schools. The theoretical-analytical perspective underlying this inquiry is that social reality is fundamentally relational and that there is an “urgent need to account for the multiple contextual (political/social/ historical) issues which need to be taken into consideration before parental choice or involvement can produce the expected (theoretical) results” (Bekerman and Tatar 2009, p. 183). Such relational and contextual thinking (Apple 2014; Apple et al. 2003) adds an important layer to the analysis of parental choice: the impact of social, political, and historical factors and processes on what choice is available to marginalized parents in different national and cultural contexts, what this choice means to those parents, and how they exercise it.

Methods and Data Sources
Data for this study are taken from several sources. The first is an on-going case-study (Stake 1995) of a bilingual Palestinian-Jewish public elementary school in an urban setting in Israel. The majority of the parents in this school, both Palestinian and Jewish, are middle-class. Preliminary findings from semi-structured interviews (Kvale and Brinkmann 2009) with Palestinian parents are reinforced by a secondary data source. Using research synthesis methods (Suri and Clarke 2009; Sandelowski et al. 2012), findings from six previous studies of parental choice of similar Arabic-Hebrew bilingual programs in Israel are used as well, four of which used mixed-methods and two were qualitative.

Findings and Conclusions
Findings suggest an amalgamation of cultural, ideological, and market-oriented values in minoritized parental decisions regarding school choice for their children, which should shield their children from racialized and economic marginalization yet not without cultural costs. The study’s central conclusions are as follows: (1) Parental choice is not always, or exclusively, the rational, future-oriented decision assumed by the dominant research on parental choice. Rather a complexity of rationalities is involved (Ball 2003), which is impacted by socio-historical contexts and can, therefore, account for divergences across national and cultural settings. (2) Neoliberal forces and class-conversion strategies operate differently in different cultural settings and may not always push in the same direction in different socio-political contexts.

Scholarly Significance
The study contributes to comparative thinking on parental educational choice, in particular by presenting and analyzing cross-contextual divergences in such choice. It highlights the need for researchers to be aware of how the dominant discourse in the field of parental choice in education is contextual and contingent when framing, analyzing, and applying their research findings.


Apple, M. W. (2014). Education and power (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Apple, M. W., Aasen, P., Cho, M. K., Gandin, L. A., Oliver, A., Sung, Y. K., et al. (2003). The state and the politics of knowledge. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

Ball, S. J. (2003). Class strategies and the education market. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

Ball, S. J., Rollock, N., Vincent, C., & Gillborn, D. (2013). Social mix, schooling and intersectionality: identity and risk for Black middle class families. Research Papers in Education, 28(3), 265-288.

Bekerman, Z., & Tatar, M. (2009). Parental choice of schools and parents’ perceptions of multicultural and coexistence education: the case of Israeli Palestinian-Jewish bilingual primary schools. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 17(2), 171-185.

Berends, M., Springer, M. G., Ballou, D., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of research on school choice. New York: Routledge.

Billingham, C. M., & Kimelberg, S. M. (2013). Middle‐class parents, urban schooling, and the shift from consumption to production of urban space. Sociological Forum, 28(1), 85-108.‏

Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: a social critique of the judgment of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Cucchiara, M. B., & Horvat, E. M. (2009). Perils and promises: middle-class parental involvement in urban schools. American Educational Research Journal, 46(4), 974-1004.‏

Elacqua, G., Schneider, M., & Buckley, J. (2006). School choice in Chile: is it class or the classroom? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 25(3), 577–601.

Gerena, L. (2011). Parental voice and involvement in cultural context: understanding rationales, values, and motivational constructs in a dual immersion setting. Urban Education, 46(3), 342-370.

Gewirtz, S., Ball, S. J., & Bowe, R. (1995). Markets, choice and equity in education. Buckingham: Open University Press.

James, D., Reay, D., Crozier, G., Beedell, P., Hollingworth, S., Jamieson, F., & Williams, K. (2010). Neoliberal policy and the meaning of counterintuitive middle-class school choices. Current Sociology, 58(4), 623-641.‏

Joshi, P. (2014). Parent decision-making when selecting schools: the case of Nepal. Prospects, 44(3), 411-428.‏

Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2009). InterViews: learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Pedroni, T. C. (2005). Market movements and the dispossessed: race, identity, and subaltern agency among Black women voucher advocates. The Urban Review, 37(2), 83-106.‏

Posey, L. (2012). Middle-and upper-middle-class parent action for urban public schools: promise or paradox? Teachers College Record, 114(1), 1-43.

Posey-Maddox, L. (2014). When middle-class parents choose urban schools: class, race, and the challenge of equity in public education. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Rollock, N., Gillborn, D., Vincent, C., & Ball, S. (2014). The color of class: the educational strategies of the Black middle classes. London: Routledge.

Schneider, M., Teske, P., & Marshall, M. (2000). Choosing schools: consumer choice and the quality of American schools. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sandelowski, M., Voils, C. I., Leeman, J., & Crandell, J. L. (2012). Mapping the mixed methods- mixed research synthesis terrain. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 6(4), 317-331.

Smrekar, C., & Goldring, E. (1999). School choice in urban America: magnet schools and the pursuit of equity. New York: Teachers College Press.

Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Suri, H., & Clarke, D. (2009). Advancements in research synthesis methods: from a methodologically inclusive perspective. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 395-430.

Thomas, P. W., & Collier, P. V. (2002). A national study of school effectiveness for language minority students’ long-term academic achievement. Santa Cruz, CA: Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence, University of California-Santa Cruz.

Vincent, C., Rollock, N., Ball, S., & Gillborn, D. (2012). Being strategic, being watchful, being
determined: Black middle-class parents and schooling. British Journal of Sociology of
Education, 33(3), 337-354.

Xiaoxin, W. (2014). School choice in China: a different tale? New York: Routledge.

2005 - American Sociological Association Pages: 20 pages || Words: 5968 words || 
5. Bell, Courtney. "All Choices Created Equal? The Role of Choice Sets in the Selection of "Failing" Schools" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 12, 2005 Online <PDF>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Recent reports suggest that the vast majority (up to 95%) of parents with children in “failing” schools choose to leave their children in those schools, even when it is their legal right to do otherwise. These reports -- and the puzzling behavior they describe -- draw attention to a limitation in researchers’ ability to explain parents’ actions. This study addresses this limitation by investigating the choice processes parents use to construct the choice sets from which they ultimately select. This interview study follows 48 urban parents during the eight months preceding the selection of a middle or high school. Half of the children presently attend failing schools, the other half attend non-failing schools. The data suggest that parents across social classes use similar processes to find suitable schools. Those processes do not however, result in similar choices sets. Through their social networks and customary attendance patterns middle class parents have greater access to non-failing, selective, tuition-based schools than do poor and working class parents. These differences were statistically significant and raise concerns about the ability of choice to deliver the equalizing outcomes reformers suggest.

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