Governing educational desire: Culture, politics, and schooling in China

Andrew Kipnis

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    That parents in China greatly value higher education for their children is a well-known aspect of contemporary Chinese culture, but the intensity and effects of their desire to achieve this goal have largely gone unexamined - until now. This book explores this universal desire for a college education and its vast consequences, which include household and national economic priorities, birthrates, ethnic relations, and patterns of governance. Where does this desire come from? The author approaches this question in four different ways. First, he focuses in detail on one Chinese county, Zouping. Then, he widens his scope to examine the provincial and national governmental policies that affect educational desire. Digging into the history of education in East Asia, the author moves on to explore the way contemporary governing practices were shaped by the Confucian examination system. Finally, to discover the universal in the local, he compares the social dynamics of a cross-section of Zouping communities. In doing so, the author provides not only an illuminating analysis of education in China but also a thought-provoking reflection on what educational desire can tell us about the relationship between culture and government.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationChicago USA
    PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
    Number of pages224
    ISBN (Print)9780226437552
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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