The number of university or college dropouts has been increasing in recent Japan. However, only few studies focus on the mechanism of dropping out. Increasing of dropouts is treated just as the subordinate problem of students’ poverty and little attention has been given to demonstrate the role of social class. In this research we investigate how social class affect intention of dropout from the view point of social capital theory.
We analyze internet survey data gathered from almost 1,500 students who are belonging university or college. The results of quantitative analysis show that the relationships with other students have statistically significant effect on the dropout decision, however, it does not mediate between social class and the dropout decision. In highly selective universities father’s occupation correlates with dropout decision independently from the effects of relationships and experiences of the economically difficult situation.
The effect of social class on dropout should be interpreted not only from the perspective of economic problem. For instance, in current Japan, it is said that there is no appreciable cultural difference between social class. It would be possible to argue, however, that students who do not have a background which typical in the institution are hard to adapt to climates or systems of institutions because of lack of cultural capital.