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Higher education, elite formation and social stratification in contemporary China: Preliminary findings from the Beijing College Students Panel Survey

Higher education, elite formation and social stratification in contemporary China: Preliminary... Higher education plays an undoubtedly important role in promoting social mobility in modern society. Previous literatures have tended to focus on the comparison between those with college degrees and those without, treating the former as a homogeneous group and the schooling process as a ‘black box.' This article introduces the background and research design of the Beijing College Students Panel Survey and analyzes the first wave of the data to investigate social stratification within the Chinese higher education system, paying special attention to the roles of family background, special admission policies, and key-point high schools in the process. Results show that while family socioeconomic status and residence locations continue to exert direct influences on the likelihood of getting into three tiers of universities (national elite universities, ‘211 universities,' and ‘non-211 universities'), key-point high schools and special admissions policies serve as important mechanisms in this process. Attending key-point high schools can help students to achieve higher scores in college entrance examinations and thus to ensure equitable access to college education; special admissions policies apparently benefit those from advantaged family backgrounds. Moreover, those in the national elite universities are more likely to join the Party than their counterparts in other universities, although their intentions are lower. These findings have important implications for understanding the role of higher education in elite formation and social stratification in contemporary China. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Chinese Journal of Sociology SAGE

Higher education, elite formation and social stratification in contemporary China: Preliminary findings from the Beijing College Students Panel Survey

Chinese Journal of Sociology , Volume 3 (1): 29 – Jan 1, 2017

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References (39)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
2057-150X
eISSN
2057-1518
DOI
10.1177/2057150X16688144
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Higher education plays an undoubtedly important role in promoting social mobility in modern society. Previous literatures have tended to focus on the comparison between those with college degrees and those without, treating the former as a homogeneous group and the schooling process as a ‘black box.' This article introduces the background and research design of the Beijing College Students Panel Survey and analyzes the first wave of the data to investigate social stratification within the Chinese higher education system, paying special attention to the roles of family background, special admission policies, and key-point high schools in the process. Results show that while family socioeconomic status and residence locations continue to exert direct influences on the likelihood of getting into three tiers of universities (national elite universities, ‘211 universities,' and ‘non-211 universities'), key-point high schools and special admissions policies serve as important mechanisms in this process. Attending key-point high schools can help students to achieve higher scores in college entrance examinations and thus to ensure equitable access to college education; special admissions policies apparently benefit those from advantaged family backgrounds. Moreover, those in the national elite universities are more likely to join the Party than their counterparts in other universities, although their intentions are lower. These findings have important implications for understanding the role of higher education in elite formation and social stratification in contemporary China.

Journal

Chinese Journal of SociologySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2017

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