Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This article examines the often-neglected reverse movements of second-generation migrant youth to their registered places of origin in rural China for educational purposes. China requires students to take their standardized enrollment tests for senior high school and university at the same location where their household is registered. Therefore, migrant youth who have grown up in their parents' adopted cities and aspire for higher education have to return to their registered hometowns to prepare for the tests. This article rejects the binary origin and destination model of migration, and criticizes the naturalizing discourse that assumes an unproblematic linkage between home and return. It offers a critical rethinking of migrant youth's remigration as a process of both emplacement and displacement under structural rural–urban inequalities in late-socialism. By analyzing the experiences and subjectivities of these migrant students adapting to the rural schooling system, the article demonstrates how institutional discrimination, regional disparities, and sociocultural differences cause these often taken-for-granted "home" journeys to be fraught with contradictions and frustrations. The experiences of migrant students reveal the politics of mobility in everyday practice, in which educational remigration perpetuates rather than breaks down structural inequalities.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 715-742
Launched on MUSE
2017-09-26
Open Access
No
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