Citation

GROUP 1. I want to have a good future: Schooling, development, and rural girls' aspirations in northwestern China

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

Dissertation Faculty Chairperson: Heidi Ross
Anticipated Stage in Program: Finish the first draft of the dissertation

National governments and international organizations and agencies advocate that formal schooling is the most effective way to contribute to the realization of the world’s Millennium Development Goal 3: achieving gender equality and empowering women. Many feminist scholars are skeptical of the efficacy of this strategy since research has shown again and again that formal schooling is more reproductive than transformative of unequal social structures. Indeed, “empowerment” remains in the literature on girls’ education and development a poorly defined concept as girls’ schooling experiences have not been systematically studied in the developing world. My dissertation, by following a group of Chinese rural scholarship girls’ for nearly 10 years (2001-2010), begin to explore and fill this gap through an in-depth study of girls’ aspirations, expectations, and future paths after compulsory schooling. The central question I am exploring is: in China’s fast changing society, whether and in what way has schooling, interacting with social, economic, and cultural factors, increased rural girls’ capacity to envision a future they truly desire?

My research is grounded at the intersection of three related bodies of literature. First, the literature of gender, education and empowerment provides me the approach to analyze the impact of schooling on girls’ lives and life chances. I particularly benefit from scholars including Kabeer (1999), Rowlands (1997) and Stromquist (2002) who have carefully explored the relationship between power and empowerment. Second, I draw the scholarship on adolescents’ aspirations and expectations from sociological, anthropological and socio-psychological perspectives related to social stratification and social status attainment research. The third body of literature is culture production of ‘educated persons” as it acknowledges the centrality of modern schooling in the identity formation of youth.

A longitudinal girls’ educational project in Shaanxi province, China’s underdeveloped northwestern region, has enabled me to examine the impact of formal schooling in girls’ life trajectories from childhood to adolescence to early adulthood. The girls’ educational project, initiated by an U.S.-based International NGO, with the collaboration with Shaanxi Women’s Federation, a women’s NGO with strong affiliation with the state, aims to help 1000 poor and rural girls achieve as much education as they can, with the hope that the highly educated rural females will contribute their talents to construct their home regions. By following participating girls through compulsory and three pathways thereafter— going to college-preparation high school, going to vocational school, and becoming migrant workers— I have found that when relatively improved living conditions and the expansion of basic education have paved the way for girls’ access to schools, the quality of further education becomes an essential factor in girls’ educational decisions. However, the shortage of college-preparation high schools and the low-quality vocational schools in rural areas still forced most of girls (550+) to “choose” to work in labor-intensive factories in cities despite their earlier reported future aspirations. The under-development of their home region, parents’ gendered expectations for girls’ future roles and abilities, and the lack of skill-learning opportunities limit occupational choices of migrant girls. Finally, although formal academic schooling is the favored pathway for rural girls to have a better future, questions still remain on to what extent the rural origin, family economic constraints, and gender discrimination commonly existing in middle-range job market will weaken their abilities and constrain their freedom to make strategic life choices. Thus, in order to empower rural and poor girls in the long run, it is vital to have a good post- compulsory educational system that can expand their educational opportunities and enhance their competencies and an equitable social system that can facilitate them to use their competence to construct a good life.

This longitudinal research uses mixed methodology to collect data from two phases. The first phase of data was collected from 2001 to 2007, when girls were in compulsory education. Besides surveys of all participating girls and interviews with selected girls and their parents, teachers and peers, I also collected student essays and photographs. The second phase of data was collected after girls’ finished compulsory education through a year-long ethnographic study during 2008-2009 and follow-up surveys of selected girls of three pathways.

Based on the rich data collected by multiple methods and over 10-year time and grounded solidly in gender and education literature, this dissertation will contribute to the comparative education literature on the longitudinal impact of schooling on girls’ life chances in developing countries and will have broad policy implications for using schools to empower disadvantaged children.
Convention
Need a solution for abstract management? All Academic can help! Contact us today to find out how our system can help your annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486654_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Wang, Lei. "GROUP 1. I want to have a good future: Schooling, development, and rural girls' aspirations in northwestern China" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486654_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wang, L. , 2011-05-01 "GROUP 1. I want to have a good future: Schooling, development, and rural girls' aspirations in northwestern China" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486654_index.html

Publication Type: CIES New Scholar Fellow Proposal
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Dissertation Faculty Chairperson: Heidi Ross
Anticipated Stage in Program: Finish the first draft of the dissertation

National governments and international organizations and agencies advocate that formal schooling is the most effective way to contribute to the realization of the world’s Millennium Development Goal 3: achieving gender equality and empowering women. Many feminist scholars are skeptical of the efficacy of this strategy since research has shown again and again that formal schooling is more reproductive than transformative of unequal social structures. Indeed, “empowerment” remains in the literature on girls’ education and development a poorly defined concept as girls’ schooling experiences have not been systematically studied in the developing world. My dissertation, by following a group of Chinese rural scholarship girls’ for nearly 10 years (2001-2010), begin to explore and fill this gap through an in-depth study of girls’ aspirations, expectations, and future paths after compulsory schooling. The central question I am exploring is: in China’s fast changing society, whether and in what way has schooling, interacting with social, economic, and cultural factors, increased rural girls’ capacity to envision a future they truly desire?

My research is grounded at the intersection of three related bodies of literature. First, the literature of gender, education and empowerment provides me the approach to analyze the impact of schooling on girls’ lives and life chances. I particularly benefit from scholars including Kabeer (1999), Rowlands (1997) and Stromquist (2002) who have carefully explored the relationship between power and empowerment. Second, I draw the scholarship on adolescents’ aspirations and expectations from sociological, anthropological and socio-psychological perspectives related to social stratification and social status attainment research. The third body of literature is culture production of ‘educated persons” as it acknowledges the centrality of modern schooling in the identity formation of youth.

A longitudinal girls’ educational project in Shaanxi province, China’s underdeveloped northwestern region, has enabled me to examine the impact of formal schooling in girls’ life trajectories from childhood to adolescence to early adulthood. The girls’ educational project, initiated by an U.S.-based International NGO, with the collaboration with Shaanxi Women’s Federation, a women’s NGO with strong affiliation with the state, aims to help 1000 poor and rural girls achieve as much education as they can, with the hope that the highly educated rural females will contribute their talents to construct their home regions. By following participating girls through compulsory and three pathways thereafter— going to college-preparation high school, going to vocational school, and becoming migrant workers— I have found that when relatively improved living conditions and the expansion of basic education have paved the way for girls’ access to schools, the quality of further education becomes an essential factor in girls’ educational decisions. However, the shortage of college-preparation high schools and the low-quality vocational schools in rural areas still forced most of girls (550+) to “choose” to work in labor-intensive factories in cities despite their earlier reported future aspirations. The under-development of their home region, parents’ gendered expectations for girls’ future roles and abilities, and the lack of skill-learning opportunities limit occupational choices of migrant girls. Finally, although formal academic schooling is the favored pathway for rural girls to have a better future, questions still remain on to what extent the rural origin, family economic constraints, and gender discrimination commonly existing in middle-range job market will weaken their abilities and constrain their freedom to make strategic life choices. Thus, in order to empower rural and poor girls in the long run, it is vital to have a good post- compulsory educational system that can expand their educational opportunities and enhance their competencies and an equitable social system that can facilitate them to use their competence to construct a good life.

This longitudinal research uses mixed methodology to collect data from two phases. The first phase of data was collected from 2001 to 2007, when girls were in compulsory education. Besides surveys of all participating girls and interviews with selected girls and their parents, teachers and peers, I also collected student essays and photographs. The second phase of data was collected after girls’ finished compulsory education through a year-long ethnographic study during 2008-2009 and follow-up surveys of selected girls of three pathways.

Based on the rich data collected by multiple methods and over 10-year time and grounded solidly in gender and education literature, this dissertation will contribute to the comparative education literature on the longitudinal impact of schooling on girls’ life chances in developing countries and will have broad policy implications for using schools to empower disadvantaged children.


Similar Titles:
An alternative way for a better future? Development, vocational schools, and rural girls’ aspirations

GROUP 1. Rationalizing professional development, teacher beliefs, perceptions, and practice in the context of rural primary schools: Kenya

I Want a Good Future: Post-compulsory Education, Girls’ Aspirations and Expectations, and Empowerment


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.