Globalization, Market Economy and Social Inequality in China: Exploring the Experience of Migrant Teachers/Globalisation, éConomie De Marché et Inégalités Sociales En Chine: Comprendre Les Expériences Des Professeurs Migrants

By Guo, Shibao | Comparative and International Education, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Globalization, Market Economy and Social Inequality in China: Exploring the Experience of Migrant Teachers/Globalisation, éConomie De Marché et Inégalités Sociales En Chine: Comprendre Les Expériences Des Professeurs Migrants


Guo, Shibao, Comparative and International Education


Abstract

This study explores the experience of migrant teachers in China. In particular, it examines how China's market economy has impacted the status and living and working conditions of migrant teachers. The study adopts a case study approach, drawing on personal interviews with 21 school teachers in Shenzhen and Zhuhai of Guangdong Province. The findings reveal that despite China's economic miracle, migrant teachers' status and teaching and living conditions have not improved. On the contrary, they have deteriorated. Migrant teachers are paid less, live in poor housing conditions, and face heavy workload. Many teachers have to tutor outside of school hours or work a second job to make ends meet. Through an account of the experience of migrant teachers in China, this study contextualizes the concept of globalization by examining its impact on China through the influence of the market economy. It also reveals a number of social injustice and inequality in education which requires the Chinese government to take immediate actions to reduce and eliminate it.

Resume

Cette etude analyse les experiences des professeurs chinois migrants et observe de ce fait Pimpact que Peconomie de marche a sur le statut ainsi que sur les conditions de vie et de travail des professeurs. Pa recherche se base sur une etude de cas qui fait appel a des entrevues personnelles de 21 professeurs qui travaillent dans une ecole a Shenzhen ou a Zhuhai, toutes deux dans la province de Guangdong. Pes resultats de cette etude revelent que meme avec le miracle economique chinois, le statut et les conditions de vie et de travail des professeurs migrants ne se sont pas ameliores; au contraire meme, ils se sont deteriores. Pes salaires des professeurs migrants ont baisse, ils vivent dans des logements precaires et leur charge de travail est elevee. Beaucoup de professeurs doivent donner des cours particuliers en dehors des heures de travail ou ont un autre travail afin de pouvoir joindre les deux bouts. Cette etude contextualise la globalisation et examine 1'impact que Peconomie de marche a sur la Chine au travers des recits des professeurs migrants. Elle denonce de ce fait plusieurs injustices sociales et inegalites educatives qui exigent du gouvernement chinois des actions immediates afin de les reduire, voire meme de les eliminer.

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Introduction

Migration is a broad term used to describe the movement of populations from one place to another. Economic globalization and modern transportation technologies have greatly enhanced the mobility of people across national boundaries. With its international focus, the current debate on migration issues often ignores or overlooks the movement of populations within nation-states. According to the recent census of China, China's migrant population reached 221 million in 2011 (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011). It is claimed that China is experiencing the largest internal migration in human history (Fishman, 2005). While globalization has contributed to the widening gap between northern and southern countries internationally, within China it has exacerbated the gap between China's eastern coastal and western regions. As a result, many migrants are moving to China's coastal cities, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai. It is estimated that another 300 million people are expected to move in the next three decades, particularly from rural to urban areas (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011). Migrant workers are often referred to as temporary workers from China's rural areas working in its urban construction industry, manufacturing, food and domestic services, and providing a source of abundant, cheap, and exploitable labour for China's market economy. What is less recognized, however, is that included among migrant workers is a large group of well-educated teachers - themselves migrants - teaching in migrant schools. …

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Globalization, Market Economy and Social Inequality in China: Exploring the Experience of Migrant Teachers/Globalisation, éConomie De Marché et Inégalités Sociales En Chine: Comprendre Les Expériences Des Professeurs Migrants
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