State and society: The rhetoric and practice of mass education in China from a case study in Quizhou Province

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Abstract

In the eyes of the academia, education is not only a form of consumption, but also an investment and a kind of capital. It is believed that an improvement of the education level of a society helps to increase labor productivity, and in turn, helps to eliminate poverty. In China, school education is a vehicle for modernization. From a state's discourse to the actual implementation in Chinese farming villages, education has also transformed the originally-existed relations in the society. This article examines various linkages in the economic dimension, connecting the individual, the family and the state between the school and the society from a case study in Fangxiang Village of Quizhou Province, China. It is apparent that the communities' support is vital in the development of mass education in China. From the real life accounts gathered from Fangxiang Village, we see the complexity of education resources in the process of putting the state's abstract discourse into practical effect. The imbalance of the economic structure (relationship between the agricultural and the industrial sectors), the rural-urban structure and the land structure has a deep impact on the development of education in rural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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rhetoric
China
village
education
urban structure
labor productivity
discourse
school education
economic structure
level of education
modernization
rural area
Society
poverty
resources
school
community
economics

Citation

Lo, W. Y. (2011, May). State and society: The rhetoric and practice of mass education in China from a case study in Quizhou Province. Paper Presented at 13th Annual International Conference on Education, Athens, Greece.