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Abstract

In recent years, the “mania for school district houses” has disrupted the housing market and undermined education equity and class mobility, thus becoming a common concern. Most existing research focus on market motivations for purchasing school district houses while neglecting the connections between school district houses and cultural and social elements in the process of class reproduction. To make up for this deficiency this article introduces the neighborhood-based cultural capital theory to explore the diversified motivations, the processes of motivation formation, and the determining factors in purchasing school district houses. Reviews and analysis of interview materials revealed that while theories based on western experience can explain the basic purchasing motivations and their formation processes, there are distinct and varied purchasing motivations in China, more comprehensive and complex forms of capital exchange, and more dynamic factors that impact purchases of school district houses. Suggestions on solving the “mania for school district houses” are also presented

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