Aspiration and Anxiety

Asian Migrants and Australian Schooling

Christine Ho
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Aspiration and Anxiety

Published

2 June 2020

ISBN

9780522874846

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Aspiration and Anxiety

Asian Migrants and Australian Schooling

Christine Ho
The children of Asian migrants are often perceived to be perfect students: ambitious, studious and compliant. They are remarkably successful-routinely outperforming other students in exams, dominating selective school intakes, and disproportionately winning places at prestigious universities. While their hard work and success have been praised, their achievements have ignited fierce debates about whether their migrant parents are 'pushing too hard', or whether they ought to be lauded for their commitment to education. Critics see a dark side, symbolised by the 'tiger mother' who is obsessed with producing overachieving 'dragon children'. What is often missing in these debates is an understanding of what drives Asian migrant parents' approaches to education. This book explores how aspirations for their children's future reinforce theiranxieties about being newcomers in an unequal society.
The children of Asian migrants are often perceived to be perfect students: ambitious, studious and compliant. They are remarkably successful-routinely outperforming other students in exams, dominating selective school intakes, and disproportionately winning places at prestigious universities. While their hard work and success have been praised, their achievements have ignited fierce debates about whether their migrant parents are 'pushing too hard', or whether they ought to be lauded for their commitment to education. Critics see a dark side, symbolised by the 'tiger mother' who is obsessed with producing overachieving 'dragon children'. What is often missing in these debates is an understanding of what drives Asian migrant parents' approaches to education. This book explores how aspirations for their children's future reinforce theiranxieties about being newcomers in an unequal society.

Christine Ho

Christine Ho

Christina Ho is Associate Professor of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, where she researches migration, cultural diversity and urban inter-cultural relations, with a particular focus on education. Her co-edited books include Asian Migration and Education Cultures in the Anglosphere (2019); 'For those who've come across the seas': Australian Multicultural Theory, Policy and Practice (2013); and Beyond the Hijab Debates: New Conversations on Gender, Race and Religion (2009).

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