Left Behind by COVID-19

Experiences of “Left-Behind” Girls in Rural China

in Girlhood Studies
Author: Jue Wang1
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  • 1 Dept. of Curriculum and Instructions, the Pennsylvania State University, USA juw65@psu.edu

Abstract

“Left-behind” children in rural China are those whose parents seek work in urban areas and leave them behind in their hometowns. In this article, I focus on the experiences of five young “left-behind” girls who were socially isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the Chinese authorities’ instruction to schools to “Stop classes, but don't stop learning,” I examine micro-level data on the tensions and challenges experienced by these girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. I look at how the pandemic has affected these girls in relation to school and family life and suggest that it has exposed and magnified gender inequalities, particularly those related to the maltreatment exerted by their guardians and/or brothers, that have left them even further behind.

Introduction

As COVID-19 infections began spreading quickly in late January 2020 in China, the Ministry of Education ordered all schools to hold virtual classes in February to fulfill their learning objectives.1 This official policy pressured schools and families into maintaining children's academic performance. This meant that more than 200 million students engaged with unprecedented large-scale online education practice. However, attending school online was not merely an immense adjustment for many families, but for some girls in the rural part of China where I conducted my fieldwork, these online education changes that came with the pandemic aggravated pre-existing patterns of physical punishment of girls, which reflect gendered social norms and inequalities.

This study was motivated by my desire to learn about the challenges that rural “left-behind” girls were experiencing during lockdown and by my concern that some traditional rural child-rearing approaches that put girls at a social disadvantage were being activated in this situation. “Left-behind” children are usually left to be raised by one parent, the grandparents, or other guardians in the original place of their household registration (Chang et al. 2011; Ye and Pan 2011).

Influenced by expansion, urbanization, migration, and industrialization resulting from market economy development, rural societies have been undergoing rapid social, economic, and cultural change. When the rural labor force moves to cities and towns to improve their economic situation, their offspring become “left-behind” children. According to the latest statistics (UNICEF 2019), 6.97 million Chinese children were left behind because of parental migration. The majority of the population is located in the southwest and central regions of China, accounting for 69.5 percent of the “left-behind” children.

Given the large increase in the number of “left-behind” children, this population has attracted the attention of many scholars. A review of Chinese and international databases shows that research on the outcomes of “left-behind” children has proliferated over the past two decades, with particular focus on issues of personal safety, education in general, communication, nutritional deficiency, and psychological and mental development. Previous research has shown that “left-behind” girls are more vulnerable than “left-behind” boys (Jiang 2018; Yang and Ma 2016); and the scholarship about “left-behind” girls’ education has centered mainly on how son preference practices devalue girls’ educational opportunities in the pursuit of individual development. However, in my research, I found that, prior to the pandemic, there was no devaluation of girls’ education but there were, rather, higher expectations of girls in the transforming society.

The pandemic has isolated children largely within their family groups and, for the young girls in this study, this has meant being isolated at home with a mother or grandparents who hold views on girlhood that are often at odds with some of the values and practices the girls have experienced in school. In particular, at home the girls have been subjected to practices of son preference—the patriarchal social values rooted in feudalism that are still typical of rural areas (Jacka and Sargeson 2011). I did not witness these practices when I did field work before the pandemic in a first-grade classroom. Drawing on Judith Butler's (1990) work on gender as performative and shaped and compelled by social discourses, I focus on performances of rural Chinese girlhood and, more specifically, on how both national policies and localized social practices affected girls’ subject formation before and during the pandemic.

Methodology

This article is based on a larger ethnographic case study that included field work, observations, and interviews that I conducted over six weeks in the fall of 2019 in a first-grade classroom serving 40 children at HC Elementary School in rural Northeast China.2 Since the pandemic brought a premature end to my field research on the lives of young girls’ gendered literacy practices in and out of school, and given the reality that COVID-related travel restrictions, school closure, and other safety considerations made it impossible to conduct additional on-site observations or interviews, I made use of video chat technologies as an alternative way of studying the changes to, and challenges of, the focal girls’ lives during COVID-19. Since I had already developed a trusting relationship with these girls, I could draw on this pre-existing rapport for collecting detailed data during the video interviews.

The case study approach that I used fits into Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln's (2005) definition of a collective case study in which the researcher studies several cases for the purpose of exploring a population or phenomenon. Through reading an account of the cases in a descriptive narrative, readers can vicariously experience these happenings and draw conclusions even if these differ from those of the researchers. I designed my study to allow me reflect on some “left-behind” girls’ narratives during the global pandemic and, in so doing, suggest possible implications for the lives of other girls in similar situations.

For the larger study, I interviewed both “left-behind” girls and girls who were living with their parents in rural areas. For this segment of the study of girls during lockdown, however, I focused on five “left-behind” girls, Han, Yu, and Jiao, who were then 8 years of age, as well as Xin and Jing, who were 7. In their first-grade classroom, 12 of the 40 children (six girls and six boys) were “left-behind.” These five girls have varied living circumstances, including with whom they live and how often they see their parent(s). For example, Han and her brother live with their grandparents and see their parents once a year. Yu lives with her grandparents and sees her mother once a year while Jing lives with her mother and sees her father twice a year. Xin lives with her mother and sees her father every few weeks while Jiao lives with her mother and older brother. Her father's job is not fixed so neither are their meetings. I interviewed Han's and Yu's grandmothers and Jing's, Xin's, and Jiao's mothers, in addition to their teachers and principal.

Employing what I came to know about these girls through participant observation as part of my fieldwork, in this study I interspersed multimodal ethnographic approaches, including using visual artifacts, such as drawings, videos filmed and posted to social media, and photos that were taken by the girls. I also engaged in child-guided virtual walking tours and, in line with the work of Marjorie Harness Goodwin (2006), talk-in-interaction interviews to facilitate information gathering about the girls’ lives over a period of eight months of social isolation in their community. Virtual walking tours guided by children provide opportunities for them to introduce their physical space, family members, and talk about social experiences. Interviewing children in natural and contextualized settings and embedding interview questions into children's familiar routines, activities, and games may open up conversations between adult interviewers and children interviewees as Goodwin (2006) reminds us. Although visual artifacts that indicate identity will not be published so as to protect the identity of participants, mapping their responses to the artifacts is an effective way of coming to understand both their immediate and wider social contexts. In our discussions, I found, in line with the findings of Jane Jorgenson and Tracy Sullivan (2010) and Joseph Tobin (2000), that these artifacts often prompted the children to reflect on associated events, context, and discourse.

All recordings, including interviews, participants’ natural interactions, and spontaneous conversations were transcribed for thematic content analysis along with descriptions of their bodily gestures and facial expressions. Three major themes emerged from my analysis in which I first employed open coding to identify a wide range of draft themes and then refined the data into dominant codes and patterns. These were maltreatment, sibling bullying, and gendered expectations. When interpreting my informants’ words, and especially those limited and unexpected answers, I connected their responses to a variety of social and personal issues instead of imposing my own interpretations. I did not rely on what I might have expected them to answer according to any preconceived notions. These limited answers have their meanings and may create new possibilities for our dialogue, which we should embrace, not exclude. My focusing on the role that context plays in their narratives facilitated my understanding of what my informants were trying to convey, and this assisted me in my data analysis. As a result, the data I collected via many rounds of virtual meetings afforded me an in-depth opportunity to consider not just these little girls’ experiences in a peculiar time, but also their tensions and concerns along with their perspectives on their larger society.

Dilemmas of Remote Learning

In response to the Chinese Ministry of Education's call to implement remote learning, schools across the country began to implement online teaching. This policy posed challenges, especially for rural students in China and elsewhere as Xiaoqiao Cheng (2020) and Bekithemba Dube (2020) note.

The Chinese Ministry of Education, recognizing that some rural and remote poverty-stricken areas were facing huge environmental constraints in conducting the implementation of live online education, arranged for China Education Television to broadcast relevant courses and resources through TV channels. This was supposed to be a relatively effective solution to maximize the use of existing digital resources for facilitating these children's homeschooling and relieving stress caused by the shortage and inadequacy of technology. However, HC School implemented their own distance learning program that consisted of daily 60- to 90-minute sessions which could include live streaming and/or pre-recorded lessons on a group video chat on DingTalk, a messaging app that supports online teaching, the submission of assignments, examinations, and other application scenarios (Haixia news 2020). Moreover, lead teachers were left to decide if it was necessary to voluntarily add one or two more lessons based on the progress of the syllabus and general academic performance level. As explained by the principal, “Many surrounding rural schools are practicing required remote teaching on DingTalk, and final exams will not be canceled due to the pandemic.” However, educators do not believe that the TV curriculum is able to meet expectations. As the lead teacher explained, “Classes on Dingtalk are more formal than the TV ones. To not let my students be left behind by other same-aged children, I have voluntarily added one more online session in the evenings, and I require them to attend.”

The actions of the Chinese Ministry of Education and HC School were implemented with the goal of ensuring the children's academic development during the pandemic, but such solutions and policies have resulted in increasing pressure and anxieties for the children, parents, and teachers. Indeed, most guardians complained about their experience of homeschooling. They described tensions and disciplinary practices in response to the unexpected challenges of the lockdown.

Adult guardians of the participating girls indicated their understanding of the importance of a supportive at-home education environment, and also indicated that they saw their (grand)daughters failing to work hard enough to attain what was expected. As Jing's mother said,

I was very concerned that my child did not put her mind on learning at home. Online learning is a brand-new learning method, and it was very different from the regular course. If I do not sit next to her and supervise whatever the task is, she will be distracted. I have to sit next to her literally every session to ensure that she is learning.

As the mother was talking about her worries via video chat, I could see her daughter, Jing, in the background making sounds and motions that indicated that she really wanted to join our conversation to express her view of the remote classes. I asked Jing, “What do you think of online learning? Is there anything you want to share with me?” Jing (frowning), replied, “Ms. Wang, let me tell you. I was trying hard to focus on the teacher's lecture, but I cannot see her and my friends, my classmates.” I said, “So, you mean you cannot even have some interactions with teachers and classmates?” and she replied, “Emmm, I can see the teacher and other classmates only when the teacher chooses me to answer questions, otherwise, no chances to see their faces, just the teacher's voice.” I asked, “Do you have any other concerns? How about your assignments and tests?” She answered,

Well, I have to work hard to complete the homework and get high grades because I am one of the first group to wear a red scarf. If I don't study hard, the teacher will disqualify me from the Young Pioneers Team.

The Chinese educational system is examination oriented and uses systems of ranking students that determine their opportunities for joining the Young Pioneers Team, which is the required first procedure for admission into the Communist Party. Jing was identified by Ms. Feng as one of the top students in the class in terms of academic performance. For her, being a Young Pioneer is an honor that means she could expect more respect from her peers, and, more importantly, be given the authority to supervise any misbehaving classmates.

Jing's description of online learning was supported by her teachers’ descriptions of online teaching. The software they were using, DingTalk, is very different from Zoom regarding the virtual interactions. Unlike Zoom, Dingtalk's online teaching function does not allow students to use video, and they cannot see each other. Ms. Feng made a joke about her position as a teacher on DingTalk when she said,

You know, I am more like a live blogger rather than a teacher. When I was giving a lecture, I could not check student's responses, if they were participating, if they had any questions. And I know such limited functions may more or less affect these young children.

Such feedback was also endorsed by the Civics teacher. As he noted,

Students cannot interact with teachers and other classmates. The only way to communicate is to type, but most children don't even know how to type. So the most frequently used way to communicate during online class is to type number one to represent that they at least hear me or understand me.

As I witnessed in my classroom observations and as was obvious in Jing's class ranking, these struggles with school success are not characteristic of her. In our virtual interviews, I learned that this change led to considerable additional strain for Jing and her mother.

Physical Punishment

My interview with Jing and her mother continued. Jing said, “If I don't study hard … My mother will punish me, too.” I asked, “Punish you? How? Could you tell me?” and her mother responded,

Yes, I hit her due to her tardiness and indolence. She was not behaving well at home and not listening to my words, but she behaved much better at school. Probably she is more afraid of the teacher than me. She will be left behind if she does not study hard during the lockdown.

Jing complained,

My mother is tough, and she thinks I am also a tomboy, but I am not! I have long hair, so why does she think I am a boy and punish me like a boy? She also calls me a monkey because I was not paying full attention during online class, and she Shoushi (hitting, yelling, intimidating) me.

Jing and her mother are not the only participants who reported an increase in physical punishment during the lockdown. Four girls and four of their guardians confirmed that the girls were subjected to increased physical punishment, enforced either by the adults or by brothers, in relation to their pandemic school performance. Yu and her guardian confirmed an increase in verbal aggression. Driven by the examination-oriented education system and the policy of non-stop classes made more unfamiliar and difficult by the pandemic, these girls reported marked increases in social and academic anxieties. For example, Xin reported,

Although currently I take online classes at home instead of learning in person at school, and I have more time playing outdoors with my neighbors, I have frequently been beaten up for these online classes and homework, which makes me more stressed than when I was in school.

Since teachers have released responsibility to guardians for supervising children's learning tasks, the tensions typical in Chinese schools between children and teachers have been transferred to guardians, who were playing the dual role of teacher and parent during the unexpected social isolation. Ms. Feng described a conversation with Xin's mother, reporting that the mother said,

I am done! I am really fed up! My daughter has never been so disobedient, Ms. Feng. Could you tell me what else I can do to push her to finish homework on time, stop fidgeting and being distracted by surroundings? I have adopted every possible means, acting toughly and talking softly, but she still couldn't be absorbed in learning. She has never been beaten and scolded like this. Please help me, Ms. Feng!

When I was interviewing Xin's mother, she explained that her expectations were to raise Xin as a girl who is obedient in parent-child relations, who understands the difficulties of raising a child without a father's company, and who strives to be an academically excellent girl. Both Xin's mother and Ms. Feng believed that “left-behind” girls bore a particularly strong responsibility for achieving beyond what they described as the expectations of daughters who were not left behind. “Left-behind” girls, whose families were sacrificing much to improve their economic opportunities, were expected to accomplish more than “just finish high school if [they] could and get married to a good husband,” which is what they described as the future of girls who were not left behind and who were not expected to have a high academic performance.

One of the frequently mentioned reasons for girls being punished physically is that they were not concentrating on online classes and were not dedicating time to assignments. In my observations of their surroundings during video interviews, I observed that the space in which the girls work is a communal space in which the entire family sleeps and conducts daily household business. While the girls were talking with me, I observed in the background, among other things, a grandfather who was smoking, a grandmother who was cleaning vegetables, a younger brother who was watching cartoons on TV, and relatives who were chatting and eating snacks. While this represents a traditional shared dwelling mode in rural Northeast China, as girls continue to navigate learning during COVID-19, such living spaces with intensified family confinement were not effective in supporting these girls in the participation in remote learning that their guardians expected and were, in fact, sites of family surveillance and attendant punishment.

Bullying by Siblings

Beyond corporal punishment administered by adults, my interviews with these girls also revealed issues related to aggression between siblings; these issues escalated such problems from an occasional conflict to repeated and adult-condoned bullying of these girls.

Han, who, as mentioned above, is 8, has a 6-year-old brother. In addition to completing her schoolwork, she has greater caretaking responsibilities during the lockdown than she did when she was attending school. She reported her frustrating experience of taking care of her brother during the pandemic and how her grandmother reinforces this gendered duty. I started by asking, “What do you feel so far about your homeschooling experiences? Are you enjoying them?” Han exclaimed,

No, not at all! I really want to go back to school! … I have to play with my little brother and take care of him every day. I am so tired of this. He is so annoying, and I think I might go insane.

I asked her to give more details, saying, “What happened? Aren't you getting along well?” and Han replied, “He always bullies me!” We then discussed entertainment and how her grandmother always bought the games her brother preferred, which was a source of conflict between the siblings. Holding back tears, Han replied,

My grandma said he is younger than me, and I have to take good care of him since they have much farm work to be done. And I have to obey him in many ways … I want to go back to school, but I don't know when.

As we three were talking, Han's grandmother came in from outside, and I asked her some follow-up questions about Han and her little brother. She said,

Han is the only one who can look after her brother since kindergartens are all closed. Han's parents are working hard in cities, and what we two elderly people can do is to help them increase some income to supplement their expenses and take care of these two children.

As a result of the interruptions, Han did not get the opportunity to explain how her brother bullied her. Although I attempted to check with her grandmother about this, there was a certain evasiveness in her replies. She repeated how humble Han should be as the older sister and said that her care would promote sibling bonds. Coincidentally, Xin happened to be Han's neighbor and usually played with Han and Han's brother. Xin mentioned in our conversation that Han's brother often bullied her and said that Han had been in a low mood recently. “Her brother pushed, pinched, and scratched her. I have seen that many times. And her grandma always spoiled her brother regardless of his bullying,” Xin reported angrily.

As a “left-behind” girl who is being raised by grandparents, Han's situation is different from that of Jing and Xin, whose mothers are with them. Although Jing and Xin are anxious about being physically punished by their mothers, Han's anxiety is doubled. Being one of the teacher's favorite students, she not only had to bear the stress of satisfying the expectations of teachers and family, but had also to commit herself to looking after a brother who behaved aggressively towards her in engaging in behaviors supported by their grandmother. Han's grandmother conveyed that the results of Han's recent test were disappointing, but she did not reflect on why Han was “a bit behind compared to her peers who have decent grades.”

Jiao, who has an 18-year-old brother in high school also reported having been bullied. During an interview, I witnessed her brother shouting at her and telling her not to argue with him and then pushing her head. Their mother observed the whole episode without stopping the brother's violence. Upon being questioned, the mother explained,

Her brother is very concerned about his online classes and tests. He has only one year left before the National College Entrance Examination. Due to the ups and downs of the pandemic, so many uncertainties in his life, since he is under great pressure, we all should be more considerate of him.

Reviewing the cases of Han and Jiao gave me cause to reconsider the implications of the traditional idea of what is known as son preference. As influenced by the traditional gendered Confucian beliefs, girls and women are expected to deprive themselves, ensuring they serve their families as best they can (Li and Lavely 2009). Such patriarchal values regulate girls and women as being the property of their parents, husbands, and families, and consequently compromise their personal opinions, subjectivities, and ways of being a real individualized person. Given shifting political influence, economic development, and the multi-infiltration of Chinese and Western cultures, girls and women have gained a certain degree of liberation in terms of politics, economy, education, and ideology (Roberts 2010). Indeed, as I will describe below, my observations of the girls at school pre-pandemic suggest that while gender plays a strong role in the expectations of what the children will be like, these girls defied traditional gendered discourses in the classroom in a number of ways.

Gendered Expectations and Son Preference Practices

I return to my interview with Jing and her comment about being a tomboy. “… why does [my mother] think I am a boy and punish me like a boy?”

Clearly, Jing has gendered expectations related to who should be punished and how. The “left-behind” girls who reported either parental physical aggression or being bullied by siblings in lockdown were the top ranked students in their class. In my earlier field work in their classroom, one of the first things I noticed was that as top students who were expected to set the behavioral and attitudinal tone for their peers, these girls were tasked and empowered to monitor their peers’ misbehavior. They were considered the teacher's assistants. Although “left-behind” children are sometimes characterized as educationally disadvantaged or as not valued or taken seriously by peers (see Shen et al. 2009; Su et al. 2015), my fieldnotes record that these girls were very proud of being the assistants, played leadership roles actively, and were recognized in this role by their peers. In their execution of this role, I witnessed them hitting and slapping their boy partners or other boys whom they regarded as troublemakers regularly. They could also set up a time-out for any children who disobeyed school and classroom rules. It was clear that the girls were not following gendered roles that require them to be docile and subordinate to the boys. There is a gendered tradition in many parts of the world of girls as the teacher's little helpers or as enforcers of classroom rules and order. Indeed, much research has demonstrated that boys are expected to be naughty or mischievous, and girls are rewarded for good classroom behavior as Robyn Beaman et al. (2006) and Diane Reay (2010) point out. Nevertheless, the focal girls’ sanctioned and frequent use of physical force against classmates, most frequently boys, was startling to me. In both academic and disciplinary performance, I documented many instances of girls being rewarded for academic achievement in ways that supported important school recognition and future opportunities and that sanctioned their domineering and bullying behavior against their male classmates.

Ironically, as the pandemic unfolded and the policy of social isolation was issued, these girls have had to manage the fact that they have become the victims of violence, rather than the instigators. At school, they were empowered by teachers to inflict corporal punishments on boys but now, having moved into the home sphere, these girls reported that they had been hit far more often than when they were in school. Their sparkling public image of good girls, who have satisfying academic performances and have their leadership potential recognized by their teachers, protected them to some extent from physical punishment. With the shift to social distancing and home supervision and its attendant challenges, this protection had ceased.

The pandemic has revealed and intensified features of the girls’ social life that include relationships with family members shaped by contradictory demands that they achieve as “left-behind” girls whose families are sacrificing for them even as they are subjected to practices of son preference. These so-called good girls, who were identified as smart, sophisticated, independent, and capable at school, have been subjected to the demanding hopes of their teachers and guardians, and these hopes have persisted regardless of the momentous transformations in place to prevent the spread of the virus. In school settings, these “left-behind” girls could play an active role in creating discourses of girl-power through challenging and negotiating the gender norms that in other spheres result in behaviors that favor son preference. The five girls in this study all demonstrated a strong capacity for academic achievement, typically outperforming the boys in their classes. However, in the pandemic context that exposed and even magnified the effect of the larger social norms, conceptualized values, and gender inequalities, these young girls are facing new challenges in understanding and achieving the status of good girls. In relation to their guardians’ assessments, they are unable to maintain the standards and accompanying social status they earned before the shutdown. Suffering from the maltreatment by guardians and/or siblings, the girls made one thing very clear to me in the interviews: they were desperate to have their voices on this subject heard. That insistence on being heard was, for me, at least one good sign.

Conclusion

This study contributes to the scholarship on the lived experiences of “left-behind” girls, a vulnerable but largely neglected group, in a rural context by uncovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected these young girls’ gendered experiences of school and family life. Distinct from prior research on the education of “left-behind” girls that focuses on limited educational opportunities and the devaluing of education, I found that these young girls are suffering from bottom-up pressures from their families, teachers, schools, and members of society to live up to the investment in their education. Their parents value their schooling, regarding girls’ education as possibly opening up new worlds and changing their current social status. No matter how challenging it is to have to adapt to remote instruction and tremendous pressure exerted by the lockdown, these “left-behind” girls have to maintain their good girl image to avoid being left behind and, more importantly, not to let their parents’ sacrifices be in vain. Ironically, these girls had become autonomous subjects in the public environment of a school earning a louder voice, and deconstructing patriarchal privilege, but the social isolation of the pandemic has exposed the gender inequalities in their family and schooling lives. The practice of son preference has penetrated into their daily experiences, resulting in girls not receiving respect and support at home, even from their mothers and grandmothers. Moreover, the pandemic has exposed and magnified the inherent gendered norms that remained hidden in normal educational practices.

COVID-19, although global, is not an egalitarian or democratic disease. On the contrary, it tends to have an uneven impact on different territories and social groups (Oliveira and Arantes 2020). The crisis exposes the pre-existing social issues of this group and reveals new concerns that merit our vigilance. Before the start of the pandemic, the girls in my study had already been left behind not only by one or both parents but also by a society focused on the unstoppable drive to economic prosperity. In light of these girls’ experiences in the time of the pandemic, it is necessary to rethink and redefine how these “left-behind” girls are now even more left behind by gender and social norms, inadequate technology, the shared mode of dwelling with very limited space and privacy, traditionally gendered rural child-rearing beliefs and practices, the anxieties caused by siblings’ aggression, the concerns of being academically left behind by peers, and the fear of being physically punished. The multilayered meanings of “left-behind” must be considered if we are to help build a social and cultural community that cares for this group of girls and that calls for more focus on improving their lives during the pandemic, and beyond that, to stay tuned to what their world might look like in the post-COVID-19 era.

Acknowledgements

This work is based on research funded by the Graduate Student Dissertation Award in College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University.

I would like to thank Ann Smith, the managing editor, and the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions on how to improve this article. Thanks are also due to Gail Boldt and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh for their valuable comments on earlier drafts. I am also profoundly grateful to the girls who took part in the research before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notes

1

Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. 2020. “Stop Classes but Don't Stop Learning during the Postponed Period.” 29 January.

2

All names used in this article are pseudonyms.

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  • Yang, Zhe, and Jiao Ma. 2017. “Issues of Rural Left-behind Girls’ Development in the Process of Urbanization.” China Ancient City Research on Urbanization 11 (7): 3237.

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  • Ye, Jingzhong, and Lu Pan. 2011. “Differentiated Childhoods: Impacts of Rural Labor Migration on Left-Behind Children in China.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 38 (2): 355377. http://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2011.559012

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Contributor Notes

Jue Wang is a doctoral Candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Her research focuses on using qualitative methods to provide a nuanced study in rural China that explores young girls’ gender identity from a community perspective and how literacy is taken up in constructions of gender performances. She is currently an instructor for undergraduates who are preparing to be teachers in early childhood and elementary classrooms. Email: juw65@psu.edu

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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    • Export Citation
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    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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