Monday, July 15, 2013

Bac 2013 and forenames

"Baccalauréat", France's national secondary-school (lycée) diploma (Bac) of 2013 and first names

20% of Adele and Diane had mention "très bien" which is "summa cum laude", meaning "with highest honor", against only 2.5% of Sabrina

Dr. Baptiste Coulmont, the French sociologist who published "Sociologie des prénoms", for years was taking an interest in names and since 2013 carrying out a project on the correspondence between names and "baccalauréats" with distinction of the students (pass 80% upwards from the French mark 20).

Its annual study does not reveal the miracle forename that will give honors to a child, but "draw a social space which immediately makes sense," explains author in his blog:

Finally, the names of its scheme in 2013 are distributed between those chosen by parents from the intellectual classes, bourgeoisie or executive staff on the one side, and those chosen by the parents of the working class on the other side.

So, we may find out that in 2013, 20% of Dianes and Adeles have obtained "baccalauréats" with distinction, followed by Juliet, Alice, Louise, Anne and Alix (all around 17/18%). Girls are in with the front runners and Gregory is the only male name to rise above 15%. The researcher explains that at school girls usually perform better than boys. However, he is wondering whether the names of the boys from upper classes are socially less divisive than the girls' ones.

At the other end of the names' cloud, there are about 3% of Kevins, Jordans, Dylans, Stevens and Sonias, Cindys and Mohameds who have got "baccalauréats" with distinction in 2013. The database, containing names which appear more than 30 times, has been made up of 338.000 candidates for the general and technological Bac who  had an average of more than 8 of 20 and accepted the dissemination of their results.

As they wrote at the time of the precendent study by Dr. Coulmont after graduating in 2012, it's well-known that the names of Anglo-Saxon origin, issued by the culture of American TV series, had been very popular among the less educated social groups (workers and employees). The study of associations between names and results at school is an indirect way to identify the relationship between the educational level of parents and the educational achievement of their children ...

As for names of North African origin like Youssef, Nabil and Mohamed, this is also the social origin of the parents that can be seen in the success of children at school. A large percentage of immigrant children is experiencing learning difficulties according to the OECD Pisa in 2009, and two-thirds of such children have parents who are workers. More than 58% of fathers and 62% of mothers of children from the immigrant families have not graduated, against 12% and 14% for children from the non-immigrant families.