Dandelions in the wind: The situation of migrant children under the hukou and educational policies in Shanghai, China

Authors: Xiaxia Yang*, University of Washington
Topics: China, Migration, Human Rights
Keywords: Children, migration, education, hukou, China
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Shanghai is one of the major internal migration destinations in China. Despite the world-leading economic development and public service levels, children of domestic migrants can hardly secure a place in public schools in Shanghai. This is especially true as they grow older and request more educational resources. Consequently, the chance that they are sent back to their hukou origins away from migrant parents increases by age. The current study expounds the situation of migrant children in Shanghai from late 1990s to 2018 as a lens to illustrate the powerless status of all migrant children in the destination cities of China. Methodologically, the study reviews hukou and educational policies in Shanghai and also draws on ethnographic materials collected in the field. It is revealed that the living and educational environment of migrant children first improved then became tough again, with 2013 as a watershed of the local policies.

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