"In this compelling ethnography of the causes and effects of educational desire in an extremely impoverished corner of Gansu province, Helena Obendiek pays particular attention to the complex social networks which fund students' education, placing them in relations of debt to their home villages and extended families. Her fieldwork took her to these villages, to the county high schools and to the urban settings where the educationally successful attempt to land jobs. The result is a rich and holistic portrait."
Andrew Kipnis, Australian National University
Helena Obendiek manages the Asia Programme at Konstanz University of Applied Sciences and is a research associate of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Germany.