The book grapples with social inequality, inclusivity, and diversity through the discussions of wellbeing, wellbecoming, and resilience of floating children and left-behind children. It invites families, schools, communities, social organisations, and governments to rethink and recognise the qualities of left-behind children and floating children. The book will be of interest to research students, sociologists of education, educational studies scholars, social workers, school professionals, and policy makers in and beyond China.
The past two decades have seen exponential growth of urbanisation and migration in China. Emerging from this growth are a myriad population of floating children and left-behind children and the ever greater social-spatial interpenetration that places these children at risk of undesirable wellbeing. The living and schooling of these children are fraught with potholes and distractions in the context of migration and urbanisation. Extant work often treats floating children and left-behind children as two discrete populations and comes to grips with their wellbeing separately. The deficit model and the ‘do-gooder’ approach have prevailed for a long time, intending to fix the “problems” and correct the “abnormalities” associated with these children. This book differs, however, in its efforts to blur the dichotomy between floating children and left-behind children; in its transformative view and strength-based approach that recast vulnerabilities into opportunities; and in its focus on the nurture of enabling ecologies instead of the nature of individual inferiorities.