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1st Edition

Class Consciousness Construction of Rural Migrant Children in China Seeking the Alternative Way Out in Meritocratic Schooling

By Jiaxin Chen Copyright 2023
    ISBN 9781032290003
    156 Pages
    Published July 27, 2022 by Routledge

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    The monograph examines the constructive process of class consciousness among rural migrant children in China and how their perceptions of social reality are shaped by their interactions within family, community, and school contexts.

    Using evidence from qualitative investigations conducted in two Beijing primary schools, one public school and one private migrant school, the author explores the nexus of social class structure, schooling process, and consciousness construction of rural migrant children, which helps readers to understand rural migrant children’s perceived way out of their social reproduction loop, foresee the future working-class formation in Chinese society, and seek the possibility of fostering a critical consciousness of China’s new workers via education channels.

    The book will appeal to researchers and students studying migrant children, migrant workers, and education in China. Those who research underprivileged children from the perspective of student agency/student resistance and through a Freirean lens could also be an audience for this book.

    1: Introduction  2: Living with Educational Inequalities in Childhood  3: The Worker-Boss-Divide: Society in Rural Migrant Children’s Eyes  4: Compliance or Resistance: Rural Migrant Children’s Seeking Their Alternative Way Out  5: The Meritocratic Schooling Process in Urban China  6: Possibilities and Challenges of Fostering Critical Consciousness in the Schooling Process  7: Revisiting Studies of Rural Migrant Children from the Class Perspective  8: From Awareness to Critical Consciousness: What is the Missing Link?


    Jiaxin Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Her research focuses on inequality and social justice issues, particularly on educational inequalities and social mobility, rural–urban migration, and class reproduction.

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