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Left-Behind Children in Rural China: Research Based on the Use of Qualitative Methods in Inner Mongolia

LU, WEI (2011) Left-Behind Children in Rural China: Research Based on the Use of Qualitative Methods in Inner Mongolia. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

There is a dearth of knowledge about the experiences of primary school aged left-behind children in the family, school and the community. The term “left-behind children” has occurred in a variety of literature in China since the end of 1980s when the huge population flows from rural areas to urban areas began. A review of the existing research literature suggests that emergence of left-behind children in China is the result of some unique features of rural migration to the cities in China. Their parents’ migration has a significant impact on their welfare and wellbeing in every respect. The overall aim of this research is to explore the experiences of children’s being left behind at home, at school and in the community from the perspectives of four main groups of stakeholders: left-behind children, their guardians, their parents and their teachers. This thesis challenges the view of left-behind children as an event, but instead argues that it is a dynamic process of choice and change with a variety of outcomes. As this is only a small scale survey with the intention of exploring whether the more detailed case studies are typical of the experiences of a wider group of children, in-depth interviews were undertaken with twelve left-behind children and one not-left-behind child in three different stages. The research suggests that negative effects of their parents’ migration can also be seen to be cumulative and to create a negative ‘trajectory’ through which momentum for change developed, developments which seemed impossible to resist. However, both left-behind children and their parents are not always passive victims of the adverse outcomes. A number of parents make complex assessments of the child’s well-being and negotiate with carers and potential carers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: MS WEI LU
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2011 11:50
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546

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