Abstract

The article reports the results of a study of differences in structured activities of students, as well as the reasons that determine these differences. The empirical base of the research includes the survey (208 students) and 20 interviews made in 2013-2014 in three schools of a residential district of St. Petersburg. In this study we have answered the following questions: What is the difference between structured activities of children from different schools? How do these differences relate to the resources possessed by the students and the opportunities offered by the schools? We have concluded that the students’ structured activities can be determined by the specifics of the school environment, as well as self-perception and the perception of their capabilities. Schools are not just places that provide different types and number of extra-curriculum activities. They follow different approaches to implementation of extra-curricular programs. The students from different schools explain their choice of structured activities differently; they also reveal differences in self-perception and in attributing responsibility for the current situation. These features can be interpreted as differences in self-esteem and locus of control. In our opinion, the indicated differences in students’ responses have no class nature. Although students are unevenly distributed across schools in terms of mothers’ level of education, there are greater stylistic similarities in their responses within schools than between them.

Keywords: structured activities, social class, social inequality, child-rearing approaches, Saint Petersburg, Russia