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ERIC Number: EJ921160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1745-4999
Schooling, Jobbing, Marrying: What's a Girl to Do to Make Life Better? Empowerment Capabilities of Girls at the Margins of Globalization in China
Seeberg, Vilma
Research in Comparative and International Education, v6 n1 p43-61 2011
Though girls' education is a well-established part of the anti-poverty canon, its importance in the lives of girls on the margins of China's globalization is more complex than a utility approach might suggest. This article uses a capabilities approach of empowerment to understand what educational opportunities a set of multiply marginalized girls value--that is, might have reason to value. The article foregrounds rural girls' voices to tell us what capabilities they treasure, how they develop agency, and what well-being they experience while living under severely constrained gendered socio-economic and cultural circumstances. Findings show that the opportunity structure is embedded in "how" and "what" the girls value in their world related to education. Hence, understanding and strengthening the fabric of this embedded opportunity structure can lay the foundation for an effective educational development policy toward the Millennium Development Goals. Findings showed that with schooling, the girls gained confidence, and psychological as well as cognitive control; some went against their parents' wishes, and stayed in school. After they "went into society", they continued to develop their voice and capability of making strategic life choices about school, work and marriage. They imagined social change in their relation to their birth families, though they accepted the prevailing preference for sons, but they sought alternatives to marrying and returning to "grow crops" ["zhong tien"] and have babies. One early school leaver put it this way, "If I don't change, I won't make progress. It would be like living in the past [the village]. I have to adapt to society [in the larger world]." (Contains 11 notes, 1 table, and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China