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Durham e-Theses
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How Chinese Students Think: About British Education for Example

LI, JIANGNAN (2016) How Chinese Students Think: About British Education for Example. Masters thesis, Durham University.



UK universities receive every year a massive number of students from mainland China at all study levels. The proposed paper addresses this phenomenon from the perspective of post-colonial critique. Based on original ethnographic data, my presentation discusses the extent to which student experience in the UK can be seen as a post-colonial encounter that engenders specific (asymmetrical) relations of power. Using Gramsci’s theory of hegemony I examine closely the everyday life of Chinese students in the University of Durham, in special relation to their career plans, parental expectations, and what appears to be a collective Chinese imagery of “a superior Western education”. My research has found that hegemonic narratives of the West circulate widely among Chinese students, shaping and motivating their educational choices. Reified representations of the West and the Orient, in their entanglement with ideas about “progress” and its relation with “Capitalism” produce new Chinese subjectivities “at home” and “abroad”. In the end, the thesis develops further by addressing two additional questions. How does this discourse ground and reproduce itself in subtle corners of daily life? How might the process of reproduction and discipline shape the present and the future of Chinese society?

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Sep 2016 15:03

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