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By O. Naftali

This booklet is an unique, ethnographic examine of the emergence of a brand new form of considering teenagers and their rights in city China. It brings jointly proof from numerous chinese language govt, educational, pedagogic and media guides, and from interviews and player observations carried out in colleges and houses in Shanghai, China.

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Extra resources for Children, Rights and Modernity in China: Raising Self-Governing Citizens

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One of the key questions this book aims to explore then is how Chinese parents and educators reconcile these tensions in their daily lives. Drawing on Swidler’s (1986) notion of culture as a “tool kit” or “repertoire” from which social actors select differing pieces for constructing lines of action, I examine the interplay between the child-rights repertoire and pre-existing Chinese modes of childrearing and education. ” Instead, they continue to rely on pre-existing cultural patterns which dictate particular behaviors and interaction styles (see Swilder, 1986: 277).

One of the main targets of the national Education for Quality program, and of local reform plans initiated in its wake, has been the transformation of the teacher-student relationship. , 2001: 88; Zhou, 2005). At the two Shanghai primary schools in which I worked, teachers and school staff born before the introduction of market reforms in Recasting Children as Autonomous Persons 43 1978 still seemed to hold onto these precepts. “In China, we believe that children are like young saplings,” one middle-aged math teacher at Whitewater School told me.

With the assistance of several of the teachers I knew, as well as friends and acquaintances, I located 20 mothers, aged 33–52 (with an average age of 39), whose children were aged 6–14 (with an average age of 9). More than half of these Shanghai mothers were educated, white-collar workers. Three had at least a middle school education; two had a college diploma; nine had a Bachelors’ degree; and one possessed a PhD. In addition, I also interviewed two market vendors, two homemakers, and a former factory worker.

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