Class consciousness of rural migrant children in China

Jiaxin Chen, Dan Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The state of class consciousness of working-class children in China has received scant attention in the scholarly literature. This study examines the class consciousness of rural migrant children as they are about to join their migrant parents and become “China’s new workers.” Qualitative investigations were conducted in two primary schools in Beijing. Focus group and individual interviews were held with 87 fifth- and sixth-grade migrant children in the two case schools and 324 valid student questionnaires were collected. The findings reveal that migrant children are aware of the unequal class relationships suffered by migrant workers; however, their interpretations of class-based injustices exhibit false consciousness, shadowed by individualism, meritocracy and the duality of images. Family and school may play vital roles in shaping migrant children’s class consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-834
Number of pages21
JournalChina Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021


  • China
  • Class consciousness
  • Primary school
  • Rural migrant children
  • Working class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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