The Doubly Disadvantaged: How Return Migrant Students Fail to Access and Deploy Capitals for Academic Success in Rural Schools

Ching Hua Anita Koo, Holly Ming, Bill Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A growing number of ‘return migrant children’, who have lived in cities where they had access to the compulsory education system, are sent back to their rural hometowns to prepare for higher education in China. This study explores the resources that are available to return migrant students for further educational development and examines their difficulties with activating their educational capitals and translating them into human capital, in the form of academic knowledge and educational success after their remigration (a change in their field of practice). Using a framework based on the work of Bourdieu, this article conceptualizes the educational resources available to migrant families in terms of economic, social and cultural capitals. This article contributes to a better understanding of the transformation and deployment of educational capitals by revitalizing the importance of the concepts of ‘habitus’ and ‘field’ inherent in Bourdieu’s work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-811
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • China
  • educational resources
  • field
  • habitus
  • migrant children
  • return migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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