Domesticating Global Desires: Private Schools in Urban China

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceedingpeer-review


Occupying an educational niche, high-fee private schools in the People's Republic of China serve a growing clientele with increasingly refined ideas of what makes up a 'modern', 'international' education. What from a broader perspective looks like a typical example of a world-wide trend towards the commercialization of education, constitutes, in nominally still socialist China, also the return of the private for educational consumers. However, the consumption of this newly gained private space does not happen at random, but takes place within the frame set both by the state and by locally mediated ideas of what defines 'private education'. In other words, it depends both on the governance of education and on its discursively enacted governmentality.

My paper will deal with how globally circulating ideas about 'private education' and 'governing education' take shape on the ground in China. By looking at how global governance/governmentality models are appropriated and enacted at different sites – the discursive spaces of decision makers and implementers as well as the consumption spaces in private education within the schools – the paper will show how 'private education' entails a multiplicity of meanings or, to link it back to the global discourse, a panoply of globalities, each of them embedded in a complex web of histories, practices, and desires.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011
EventComparative and International Education Society 55th Annual Conference (CIES) - Montreal
Duration: 2011 May 1 → …


ConferenceComparative and International Education Society 55th Annual Conference (CIES)
Period2011/05/01 → …

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Educational Sciences


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