Self-abandonment or seeking an alternative way out : understanding Chinese rural migrant children’s resistance to schooling

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

1 Scopus Citations

Abstract

This study explores the complexity of school resistance by Chinese rural migrant children (RMC), which may contribute to their educational failure, as well as the school conditions informing their resistance. This study categorizes migrant children’s school resistance into three patterns, based on their rationale for school behaviors: conformist learner, education abandoner, and nascent transformative resister. All three groups were initially believers in pursuing academic success for upward social mobility, as promoted at school. However, some gradually determined such educational pursuit was untenable and became education abandoners. Teachers’ predicting RMC’s academic failure and highlighting the individual’s responsibility for that failure contributed to that abandonment. While findings of this study indicate that migrant children may develop transformative resistance, this possibility is challenged by the dominant ideology of meritocracy and a teaching agenda that legitimizes social inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-268
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume41
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • China
  • educational failure
  • Rural migrant children
  • schooling
  • student resistance

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