Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Urban China Lecture Series featuring Zhu Fangsheng – Families, Schools, and Cities

April 16 @ 8:30 am 10:00 am

Speaker:  Zhu Fangsheng, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Duke Kunshan University

This talk will trace the origins and consequences of how contemporary Chinese cities govern public school admissions. School districts became the central device in public school admissions in China, despite their absence of fiscal or administrative foundations. I argue that cities repurposed school districts to manage rising perceived injustices in informal processes by which parents were choosing schools, and that such repurposing of school districts only succeeded with the arrival of big data infrastructure in the early 2010s. The successful repurposing of school districts reconfigured urban education governance.

Comparing across time periods, I find that formal procedures reduced perceived injustices while also increasing collective action. Comparing across families, I find that the formal procedures catalyzed different education migration strategies and destinations, dependent on family resources. Comparing across urban districts within the same city, I report unequal burdens of school provision between urban center and urban fringe districts. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that formal procedures addressed perceived injustices but not substantive inequalities in urban education governance. 

Fangsheng Zhu studies policies, organizations, and technologies in education. His ongoing projects evolve around two research questions. First, why has education in China remained unequal and intensive? Second, what explains the rise and fall of China’s EdTech industry? Fangsheng is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Duke Kunshan University.

Zoom Meeting Link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/92743598127


April 16
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

Subscribe to the Events Newsletter

Be the first to know about upcoming events.