Home » Publication » Girls’ Schooling Empowerment in Rural China: Identifying Capabilities and Social Change in the Village
Seeberg, Vilma, "Girls’ Schooling Empowerment in Rural China: Identifying Capabilities and Social Change in the Village." Comparative Education Review (2014),58, 4: 679-707.
This study proposes an elaboration of the human development capability approach by theorizing empowerment capabilities as an essential aspect of the education of excluded village girls. Seeking to explain Chinese village girls’ demand for schooling, the article identifies intangible and instrumental capabilities that have often been overlooked and their indirect influence on social changes in gender roles, in the fertility and domestic transitions, accelerated educational attainment and urbanization. The linkage between village habitus and, one, the poor quality of basic and junior high education, and, two, the high cost of senior high school presented the greatest limitation, which cemented
the urban-rural gap and inequality in urban employment. Policy to expand and regulate vocational secondary schools and non-formal skills education would counter the alarming increase in systemic rural-urban inequalities that disproportionately affect village girls and women, and would release pent up aspirations and agency of excluded village girls.