Ethnicity and education in China and Vietnam: discursive formations of inequality

Joan DeJaeghere, Xinyi Wu, Lisa Vu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article aims to understand how ethnicity is discursively framed in national policies in China and Vietnam and argues that policy discourses affect how the ‘problem’ of ethnicity and educational inequalities is framed and how these inequalities can be addressed. The analysis shows how both Marxist and market-economy governing rationalities frame ethnic minority groups as lower status than the majority group and in need of either socially evolving to the communist ideal or assimilating into the global economic market, respectively. Using Fraser’s multi-dimensional approach to analyse discursive formations of inequality, we show how these policy discourses produce a non-ethnic economic citizen with socialist tendencies that negates cultural or social recognition and political representation. We conclude that researchers and policymakers need to consider how ethnicity is discursively framed to understand and address inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-140
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 British Association for International and Comparative Education.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • critical discourse analysis
  • educational inequalities
  • ethnic minorities
  • ethnicity
  • policy analysis


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