Marginality of Rural Migrant Students in Eleven Chinese High Schools

Tao Wang


Since Chinese economic reform in the 1980s that prompted increased urbanization, gap between rural and urban places continually widen, and obvious cultural differences are observed. Rural populations migrate to heterogeneous urban environments and meet problems of marginality. Most rural students enter the city when receiving senior high school education in urban high schools. Perceiving the differences in urban life, these students begin to acquire urbanite and urban cultural personalities. Meanwhile, because of their original lower socioeconomic status, they are caught between rural culture and urban culture, and experience marginality in different ways. Based on insights derived from visiting 11 urban high schools and talking to 55 students, this paper details their marginal experiences in study adaption, life experience, social interaction, relationships, and value are described.


Marginality, Rural migrants, Urban Schooling, China

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Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies  E-ISSN: 2149-1291

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