【工作坊】2021/11/03 各就各位：菁英學生在中國與美國的地位體系 講者：姜以琳
【中國研究工作坊 X 清華社會所系列演講】
Elites are a group who occupy top status in status systems. Studies show that elites strategize to stay and produce in top status, but few examine how elites respond to threats of downward mobility. This study examines how elites maintain top status despite entering new institutions in different countries. Drawing on seven years of ethnography and interviews with socioeconomic elite students from Beijing, I find that elite students change the status system when they perceive themselves as losing ground. Across high schools, Beijing student subscribed to a status system in which test scores determined status. After graduation, those who entered top American universities remained academically top-performing, and established an identical status system in the U.S. However, others who went to top universities in China found themselves outcompeted. They then constructed a new status system that rewarded “having fun,” allowing themselves to stay in top status. These findings show that elite ability to change the status system is key to maintaining privilege. Implications beyond the Chinese context are discussed.