Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 365–380 | Cite as

New Realities and Representations of Homelessness in Chinese Children’s Literature in an Era of Urbanization

  • Chengcheng YouEmail author
Original Paper


In the social context of China’s rural–urban migration, a varied set of forces has increasingly challenged the conventional assumptions used to underpin the notion of home as a space fixed in geography and one’s lineage. This essay calls into question the essentialist values associated with home, and explores new realities and representations of homelessness in contemporary Chinese children’s literature. Taking into account critical work on globalization, where the emphasis is on issues of mobility, and reflecting on the Chinese conceptualization of home, this study considers how the traditional territory of home is remapped using literal and allegorical tropes, and argues that representations of floating children, street children and left-behind children in China, as central to the discussion of contemporary Chinese children’s literature in an era of urbanization, mark the transition of the Chinese concept of home from an established locus of security to an open signifier of precariousness and uncertainty.


Chinese left-behind children Floating children Street children Homelessness Mobility 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Translation StudiesJinan UniversityGuangdongChina

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