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Alone and ‘left behind’: a case study of ‘left-behind children’ in rural China

Hong, Y. and Fuller, C. ORCID: (2019) Alone and ‘left behind’: a case study of ‘left-behind children’ in rural China. Cogent Education, 6 (1). 1654236. ISSN 2331-186X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2019.1654236


China has been experiencing rapid economic growth over the past few decades accompanied by an overwhelmingly large number of rural habitants out-migrating to urban areas for work and better earnings. However, children of migrants are not entitled to free schooling provisions in these urban destinations and so millions of school-aged rural children have to be ‘left behind’ by their migrating parent(s) in their home place. This study investigates the educational aspirations of Chinese ‘left-behind children’. Via an ethnographic, qualitative case study approach it captures the impact of ‘left-behind-ness’ on aspirations Findings indicate that whilst educational aspirations are embedded in left-behind children’s disadvantaged social background, they are also shaped by the consequences of being ‘left-behind’. By doing so, it seeks to highlight an important area as well illustrating the value – or not – of using Western theories of social inequalities with an Eastern context.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:85436
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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