Fragile Elite: The Dilemmas of China's Top University Students

Research output: Book/Report/PhD thesisBookResearchpeer-review


China's One Child Policy and its rigorous national focus on educational testing are well known. But what happens to those "lucky" few at the very top of the pyramid? Fragile Elite explores the contradictions of being an elite student through ethnographic research conducted at two top universities in China. It uncovers the intimate psychological strains students suffer under the pressure imposed on them by parents and state, where the state acts as a parent, and the parents sometimes reinforce the state. The book offers insights into the intergenerational tensions as work in relation to the ongoing shifts in educational policy and definition of what a "quality" student, child, and citizen is in contemporary China.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStanford
PublisherStanford University Press
Number of pages172
ISBN (Print)9780804796071
ISBN (Electronic)9780804797795
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2016
SeriesAnthropology of Policy

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