In East Asian economies such as China, recent mass rural-urban migration has created a new urban underclass, as have their children. However, their inclusion in urban public schools is a surprisingly slow process, and youth identities in newly industrialized countries remain largely neglected. Faced with monetary and institutional barriers, the majority of migrant youth attend low-quality or underperforming migrant schools, without access to the free compulsory education enjoyed by their urban counterparts. As a result, China’s citizen-building scheme and the sustainability of its labor-intensive economy have greatly impacted global economic restructuring.
Using thorough ethnographic research, this volume examines the consequences of urban schooling and citizenship education through which school and social processes contribute to the production of unequal class relations. It explores the nexus of citizenship education and identity-forming practices of poor migrant youth in an attempt to foresee the new class formation in Chinese society. This volume opens up the "black box" of citizenship education in China and examines the effect of school and societal forces on social mobility and life trajectories.
Table of Contents
Foreword Lois Weis Introduction 1. Rural-Urban Migration and the Schooling of Migrant Youth 2. Citizenship Education and Youth Identity 3. Chaotic Schooling: Migrant Youth’s Experiences in Green Tree School 4: The "Sunshine Education" of Red River Middle School 5: Shaken Faith in Formal Schooling 6: The Ideology of Individual Efforts: Meritocracy and Education 7: Experiencing the Urban-Rural Dichotomy Conclusion: Citizenship Rights, Identity, and Collective Action
Miao Li is assistant professor at the School of Philosophy and Social Development, Shandong University, China.
‘This meticulously researched ethnography gives vivid insights into the schooling experiences of migrant children in China’s burgeoning cities. They are destined to low status occupations and ongoing disadvantage in spite of the rhetoric of individual effort and meritocratic opportunity. Miao Li has effectively adapted social reproduction theories to highlight this harsh underside of China’s meteoric rise.’ - Ruth Hayhoe, Professor, University of Toronto