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The influence of cultural capital and mianzi (face) on mature students’ orientation towards higher education in China

Guan, Shanshan; Ploner, Josef

Authors

Shanshan Guan

Josef Ploner



Abstract

In the wider context of national growth and investment in higher education in China, more mature students seek to gain access to university education. Considering the far-reaching socio-economic and political shifts in contemporary China and its higher education sector in particular, this study explores the experience of mature university students in this country and poses the seemingly simple question as to why these students did not pursue higher education when they were school-leavers, but chose to study at a mature age. Drawing on biographical interviews with 20 Chinese mature university students, the paper explores their aspirations, motivations and tribulations behind embarking on higher education. Revisiting Bourdieu’s ideas on ‘inherited’ and ‘acquired’ cultural capital and examining the related Chinese cultural notion of mianzi (‘face’), it is argued that family and social networks are decisive factors in mature students’ orientation towards higher education.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 18, 2018
Journal Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Print ISSN 0305-7925
Electronic ISSN 1469-3623
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-17
APA6 Citation Guan, S., & Ploner, J. (2018). The influence of cultural capital and mianzi (face) on mature students’ orientation towards higher education in China. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2018.1490999
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2018.1490999
Keywords Education
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03057925.2018.1490999
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline....cope&journalCode=ccom20

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Copyright Statement
©2019 University of Hull

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education on 18 Jul 2018], available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03057925.2018.1490999





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