Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.816008
Title: The negotiation of Chinese migrant parents' social relations and their social status in a Chinese complementary school in Germany
Author: Li-Gottwald, Jiayin (Kitty)
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 3940
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
This research aims at revealing the significance of social interactions in relation to the ideas of social status and social capital among first generation migrant Chinese parents at a Chinese complementary school in Germany. The study explores the role of a Chinese complementary school for the parents beyond the education of their children. I take an ethnographic approach in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the parents interaction and social relations in the school setting, which are discussed in relation to the parents socioeconomic backgrounds and individual migrant trajectories. Three distinctive groups emerged during the fieldwork at the school, which I named: the Networkers, the High-Profiles, and the Marginalised, reflecting their social economic status. The data consists of audio-recorded interactions among the parents in the school setting, a series of interviews with key participants and fieldnotes. Drawing on a discourse theoretical approach, I pay close attention to their construction of meaning in the parental interactions at a micro level and at a macro level. The study develops our understanding of the notion of bonding social capital (Putnam, 2000) within the context of complementary schooling by illustrating how strong emotional bond and group solidarity were fostered among the migrant parents. Significantly, the study shows that bonding social capita among three participant groups varied depending on their socioeconomic backgrounds. While the Networkers and the High-Profiles were able to articulate resources and opportunities that emerged during their social interactions to facilitate their involvement with the Chinese complementary school and local Chinese community, the Marginalised were often left out. Similarly, this study also illuminates various approaches towards bridging social capital (Putnam, 2000). Whilst the Networkers and the High-Profiles were much better able to use their social interactions at the school to explore and reinforce their close social contacts with the local German elite, the Marginalised engagement with the host society was largely mediated by their children and associated with their neighbours. In summary, the research strongly suggests that the Chinese complementary school acts as a microcosm of the reproduction of social order and resonates with Bourdieus notion of the class-based nature of social capital. While some of the parents create meaningful networks, mutual support and a sense of group belonging, which have reinforced their social status and engagement with the host society. For other parents, these are less accessible, provide limited benefits and reproduce social inequalities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.816008  DOI: Not available
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