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Week 14 Reading Deng Notes

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"The Impact of the Cultural Revolution on Trends in Educational Attainment in the People's Republic of China" (Deng, 1997)


During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) the advantage of coming from an educated family or an intelligentsia or cadre family was drastically reduced o Reflecting massive state intervention Some compare the educational changes to those in other command societies such as East European communist societies o But there is little evidence that the pattern of attainment in East European societies during the communist era was radically different from those of Western Europe (Blossfeld and Shavit, 1993) The Chinese government tried, in a variety of ways to promote education opportunities for the children of peasant and worker families at the expense of those from higher status backgrounds

The Educational System Since 1949

China adopted an American-style school system in 1922 (Gao, 1985) After 1949, China's educational system fell under Soviet influence o In 1951 China's DoE proposed system of 5 years primary, 5 years secondary, 4 years university o But most school systems didn't carry out the reform
 Retaining instead the 6-3-3-4/5 structure (American style)
 Therefore structurally similar to that of industrialized countries even though it wasn't supposed to be Family class origin was used as an admissions Family cultural capital has been shown to strongly affect educational attainment (Bourdieu, 1977) Communist goal of "eliminating the distinctions between town and country, industry ad agriculture, physical and mental labour" - (China Youth Daily, 1959) According to party ideology - cultural capital breeds social "elitism", in which the children of workers and peasants fall victim to "examination discrimination" (Munro, 1972)

State Interventions to Promote Educational Equality

Three techniques to promote and improve educational opportunities for works and peasants and their children: o 1) Expanded the formal education system o 2) Established an informal "mass education" alternative

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