The Power of Expectation: Apply Wisconsin Model in China's Educational Stratification

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: Booth 42
Distributed Paper
Yanbi HONG , Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Besides Blau-Doncan’s Status Attainment Model, Wisconsin Model is another important model in US to explain educational and occupational stratification and mobility. However, the Wisconsin Model is relatively ignored in Chinese stratification studies. Drawing upon data from a national survey conducted by Tsinghua University in 2012-2013, this paper distinguishes two kinds of educational expectations of Chinese parents: idealistic educational aspiration and realistic educational expectation, and then examines the effects of parental educational aspiration and expectation on children’s educational achievements.

In this paper, first, I describe the distribution of educational expectation levels across different classes both in urban and rural China. Second, I analyze the formation mechanisms of the gap between idealistic aspiration and realistic expectation, examining feasible influencing factors. Third, I adopt a family capital framework, mainly including social and cultural capitals, to explain how educational expectations work in household level. In sum, this paper attempts to reveal the cognitive and behavioral processes of how educational stratification occurred in current Chinese society.