Jiaoyufication : When gentrification goes to school in the Chinese inner city

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

49 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3510-3526
Journal / PublicationUrban Studies
Volume53
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Abstract

Gentrification, or the class-based restructuring of cities, is a process that has accrued a considerable historical depth and a wide geographical compass. But despite the existence of what is otherwise an increasingly rich literature, little has been written about connections between schools and the middle class makeover of inner city districts. This paper addresses that lacuna. It does so in the specific context of the search by well-off middle class parents for places for their children in leading state schools in the inner city of Nanjing, one of China’s largest urban centres, and it examines a process that we call here jiaoyufication. Jiaoyufication involves the purchase of an apartment in the catchment zone of a leading elementary school at an inflated price. Gentrifying parents generally spend nine years (covering the period of elementary and junior middle schooling) in their apartment before selling it on to a new gentrifying family at a virtually guaranteed good price without even any need for refurbishment. Jiaoyufication is made possible as a result of the commodification of housing alongside the increasingly strict application of a catchment zone policy for school enrolment. We show in this paper how jiaoyufication has led to the displacement of an earlier generation of mainly working class residents. We argue that the result has been a shift from an education system based on hierarchy and connections to one based on territory and wealth, but at the same time a strangely atypical sclerosis in the physical structure of inner city neighbourhoods. We see this as a variant form of gentrification.

Research Area(s)

  • gentrification, inner city, Jiaoyufication, Nanjing, schooling

Citation Format(s)

Jiaoyufication : When gentrification goes to school in the Chinese inner city. / Wu, Qiyan; Zhang, Xiaoling; Waley, Paul.

In: Urban Studies, Vol. 53, No. 16, 01.12.2016, p. 3510-3526.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review