Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Chinese Education & Society

For a Special Issue on

Chinese Childhoods through Children's Own Eyes

Abstract deadline
31 March 2024

Manuscript deadline
30 August 2024

Cover image - Chinese Education & Society

Special Issue Editor(s)

Xiying Wang, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
[email protected]

Fengshu Liu, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Education, University of Oslo
[email protected]

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Chinese Childhoods through Children's Own Eyes

While it is widely recognized that there have been dramatic changes in childhood experiences in contemporary China over the past few decades, Chinese childhood has been mainly studied from an adult-oriented perspective. Existing studies on Childhood incline to regard children as objects, and discuss how the current schooling and educational system, parenting styles and predicaments, and intergenerational relationships impact children’s lives. Researchers have rarely asked children (situated in various socio-cultural contexts) themselves what it is actually like growing up in present-day China. Learning from children’s own perceptions, stories, and experiences can shed revealing light on a series of questions that puzzle and trouble parents, teachers, policy makers, and adults. These include, for example, why our children are unhappy when the country is wealthier than ever before; why, the competition among children has become even more intensive when the university enrolment has expanded 10 times? Research on Chinese childhood has also been largely urban oriented, paying little attention to children in rural and ethnic minority areas. As a result, we know little about the possibly diverse ways of being a Chinese child today.

We are pleased to announce a call for contributions to a special issue that aims to provide unique and nuanced perspectives on what it is like to be a child in contemporary China. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight the voices of Chinese children and depict the multiple childhoods in the fast changing China. We invite scholars from various disciplines, including sociology, education, psychology, and anthropology,  to contribute original and interdisciplinary research that reflects the dynamic and multifaceted nature of childhood in the Chinese context. There are several selection criteria for scholars to consider before submitting your abstracts.

  • Your manuscript needs to be children-centered, focusing on children’s perceptions, stories, and experiences and emphasizing children’s subjectivity and agency.
  • We adopted the definition of children from the U.N, namely paying attention to children under 18, offering a platform for researchers to delve into the rich and diverse narratives that shape the lives of Chinese children.
  • In order to effectively capture children’s subjectivities, the special issue will limit to contributions that draw on qualitative research methods.

Potential Topics

Contributions may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Play and Leisure
  • Friendship and peer relationships
  • Schooling experiences
  • Education and aspirations
  • Technology and media
  • Social inequalities/ exclusion (including digital divide)
  • Gendered socialization
  • Urban-rural dynamics and regional diversities
  • Body image issues
  • Consumerism
  • Childhood disabilities
  • Mental health challenges
  • Cyberbullying and online safety

Submission Instructions

Manuscripts should adhere to the journal's guidelines and word templates for formatting and citation. Authors are invited to submit their manuscripts via the journal's usual submission method. Please indicate that the submission is for the Special Issue on "Chinese Childhood Through Children's Eyes." Submissions must be in English.

Important Dates

Submission of abstracts: Due March 31, 2024
Invitation to submit full-length manuscripts: By April 30, 2024
Submission of invited full-length manuscripts: Due Aug 30, 2024
Peer Review Process: Aug to Dec, 2024
Expected Publication: Feb 28, 2025

An abstract (500 words maximum, all-inclusive) with a cover letter and 4-5 suggested keywords should be emailed to [email protected] and [email protected] with the title of “Special Issue Submission for Chinese Childhoods through Children's Own Eyes” before March 31, 2024.

Instructions for Authors