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ERIC Number: EJ976001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1755-2273
A Public Secret: "Education for Quality" and Suicide among Chinese Elite University Students
Bregnbaek, Susanne
Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, v4 n3 p19-37 Win 2011
This article is based on anthropological fieldwork undertaken at two elite universities in Beijing. It addresses the paradoxical situation of the many instances of suicide among Chinese elite university students in Beijing, which constitute a public secret. The pressure of education weighs heavily on the shoulders of China's only child in each family, known as the generation of little emperors and little empresses. Since the 1980s, the "suzhi jiaoyu" reforms (education for quality) have involved various attempts to reduce the pressure of education. However, simultaneously the aim is to increase the competitiveness of individuals. Drawing on existential and phenomenological thought, I suggest that the discourse seems to objectify and quantify a concern for well-being, rather than recognising its intersubjective character. Finally, I argue that the suicides are controversial since they are seen as a form of social criticism. (Contains 12 notes.)
Berghahn Journals. 150 Broadway Suite 812, New York, NY 10038. Tel: 212-233-6004; Fax: 212-233-6007; e-mail: journals@berghahnbooks.com; Web site: http://www.journals.berghahnbooks.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China (Beijing)