1st Edition

Migrant Children in State/Quasi-state Schools in Urban China From Access to Quality?

By Hui Yu Copyright 2022
    180 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Highlighting the changing landscape of Chinese urban state schools under the pressure of recruiting a tremendous number of migrant children, this book examines the quality of state educational provisions from demographic, institutional, familial and cultural angles.

    Rooted in rich qualitative data from five Chinese metropolitan cities, it identifies the demographic changes in many state schools of becoming ‘migrant majority’ and the institutional reformation of ‘interim quasi-state’ schools under a low cost and inferior schooling approach. This book also digs into the ‘black box’ of cultural reproduction in school and family processes, revealing both a gloomy side of many migrant children’s academic underachievement as a result of troubled home-school relations and a bright side that social inclusion of migrant children in state school promotes their adaptation to urban life. The author concludes that migrant children’s experiences in state (and quasi-state) schools turn them into a generation of ‘new urban working-class’.

    The monograph will be of interest to scholars, students, practitioners and policymakers who want to better understand educational equality for migrants and other marginalised groups.

    1 Changing landscape of migration and schooling in China  2 Conceptualising quality of education in a migration context  3 Becoming ‘migrant majority’ state school  4 The birth of an ‘interim quasi-state school system’  5 Being quasi-state schools: navigating through identity dilemma  6 ‘Incompetent’ parents and children’s academic performance  7 Re-structuring habitus and social inclusion in school  8 Pathways to the ‘new urban working-class’ and possibilities of change


    Hui Yu is Associate Professor in the School of Education at South China Normal University, China. Dr Yu is an adjunt research fellow at SCNU Centre for Basic Education Governance and Innovation, and at MOE-SCNU Institute for Educational Law. His research interest is sociology of education with a focus on policy processes and social class equalities in the context of rural-to-urban migration in China.

    "Internal migration in China, by virtue of its sheer vastness and mythical might, continues to captivate and perplex scholars home and abroad. Yu powerfully positions his book in this enigmatic context and sociologises the schooling and parenting of floating children. The book raises questions of identity and legitimacy, of memorisation and aspiration, of affiliation and classification, of reproduction and transformation, and indeed, of power and participation in societies complicated by puzzling and morphing issues of mobility, diversity, inclusivity, and citizenship. Yu dexterously deciphers the matrix of the entangled spaces of family, school, policy, the market, and the state. His book is a scholastic rarity and a readable piece of exemplary research that sparks ongoing reflections and contestations on urban privilege and ‘migrant paradox’, on the predatory capitalism, on what all these mean for contemporary migrant communities. "

    Guanglun Michael Mu, Associate Professor, University of South Australia, Australia

    "Hui Yu’s monograph makes a timely contribution to scholarship on education mobilities and inequalities in contemporary China. His book provides incredibly rich ethnographic data about the ecology and landscape of state urban schools hosting large numbers of migrant children. He provides rigorous theoretical and empirical interventions to help readers gauge the complexities of rural-to-urban migration and the schooling ‘black box’. This book is a must read for scholars and practitioners interested in migration studies, education mobilities, and social theories and social inequalities."

    Cora Lingling Xu, Assistant Professor, School of Education, Durham University, UK