Parenting strategies around children's education in urban China, South Korea and Singapore: A comparative ethnographic study

Project: Research

Project Details


This comparative ethnographic project addresses parents’ educational care work in Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore. The overall purpose of the project is to study the empirical realities of shifting norms and practices that shape parenting strategies around young children’s education in urban East Asia. In particular, the project will inquire how parenting strategies are entangled with notions of human capital accumulation and upward social mobility, and how they intersect with gender, class and generation.

Ethnographic data will be obtained through interviews, observations, respondents’ diaries, and auto-photography. The timetable for the project is three years. The research team consists of three members, who have previously specialized in family relations in East Asia.

The project will be of significance in three major ways:
1) It will generate knowledge about parenting practices around young children’s education, and how parents negotiate the expectations implied by state ideologies on human capital, as well as education systems.
2) It will contribute to much needed comparative analysis within Asia, allowing for contextual understandings of parenting arrangements around children’s education which go beyond ’Asian values’ and ‘Confucian tradition’.
3) It will contribute to developing qualitative comparative methodologies.

Funded by: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Short titleFöräldrars strategier kring barns utbildning i Kina, Sydkorea och Singapore
Effective start/end date2017/10/192021/12/31


  • The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation: Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Science Research

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Work