chapter  7
The Integration of Migrant Children in Beijing Schools
ByJulia Kwong
Pages 16

With the introduction of market socialism, Chinese society has become more heterogeneous. Moreover, diverse sectors of the population are more likely to express their differences compared with the previous period. Some aspects of this diversity, such as ethnic and regional differences as pointed out by Gerard Postiglione, have always existed. Yet, differences in religious, political, and sexual orientations have become more pronounced and visible in the increasingly more tolerant political climate. Still other differences, like the polarization of wealth and the resultant variations in lifestyle, have emerged only as a result of the economic policies implemented in the new era. Jing Lin, in the next chapter, points to the emergence of the middle class in the once largely egalitarian Chinese society. This new phenomenon of growing differences and their articulation raises issues of diversity and integration and prompts me to take a new look at the integrative role of the schools-the most organized and structured socialization agents in a society still very much concerned with preserving homogeneity and uniformity.