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Full Access Selecting the Elite: Status, Geography and Capital—Admission of Rural Students into Peking University (1978-2005)

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Selecting the Elite: Status, Geography and Capital—Admission of Rural Students into Peking University (1978-2005)

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Abstract This article examines new students from rural areas admitted to Peking University from 1978 to 2005. In order to illustrate the intense maneuvering between social status groups for the benefits and prestige accordant with admission to Peking University, it analyzes the status struggles of these rural students and the special barriers they must overcome. Regional disparities in admissions, the sizes of elite selection circles across different provinces and cities, and the distribution of resources for quality basic education are also analyzed. By examining the culture, institutions, structures and processes of the selection process in China, the authors argue that a seemingly fair and merit-based selection process actually obscures complex and powerful interests capable of manipulating it. The study also raises two issues associated with cultivating elite students, cultural capital shortages and cultural discontinuities, that are in need of further consideration.

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Education, Peking University

10.1163/221258612X644548
/content/journals/10.1163/221258612x644548
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Abstract This article examines new students from rural areas admitted to Peking University from 1978 to 2005. In order to illustrate the intense maneuvering between social status groups for the benefits and prestige accordant with admission to Peking University, it analyzes the status struggles of these rural students and the special barriers they must overcome. Regional disparities in admissions, the sizes of elite selection circles across different provinces and cities, and the distribution of resources for quality basic education are also analyzed. By examining the culture, institutions, structures and processes of the selection process in China, the authors argue that a seemingly fair and merit-based selection process actually obscures complex and powerful interests capable of manipulating it. The study also raises two issues associated with cultivating elite students, cultural capital shortages and cultural discontinuities, that are in need of further consideration.

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/content/journals/10.1163/221258612x644548
2012-01-01
2016-12-11

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