Social inequality in a ‘hyper-mobile’ society: intra-national mobilities and formal education in China

Mulvey, B. and Li, B. (2023) Social inequality in a ‘hyper-mobile’ society: intra-national mobilities and formal education in China. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2023.2193673) (Early Online Publication)

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This study builds upon existing research on educational mobilities in China by exploring how families from across the socio-economic spectrum have utilised various forms of spatial mobility practices to access educational opportunities and to achieve social mobility through education. We draw on data from forty interviews with Master’s degree students at an elite Chinese university from three social class factions: ‘non-affluent’, ‘lower-middle’, and ‘upper-middle-class’, and employ the concept of motility or the capacity to be mobile, alongside concepts from Bauman and Giddens’ work on mobility and modernity, to understand the socially classed nature of mobility. We argue that an often overlooked ‘educational mobility imperative’ in China shapes the trajectories of many, but manifests in markedly different ways along lines of social class. While students from various social backgrounds may be mobile, what is important is the level of control individuals and families have over the variety and frequency of mobility they undertake.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mulvey, Dr Benjamin
Authors: Mulvey, B., and Li, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9451
Published Online:31 March 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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