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Article: On the trail of comparative urbanism: square dance and public space in China

TitleOn the trail of comparative urbanism: square dance and public space in China
Authors
Keywordscivic culture
comparative urbanism
public space
public–private divide
square dance
Issue Date2019
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1475-5661
Citation
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2019, v. 44 n. 4, p. 692-706 How to Cite?
AbstractCivic cultures in public space occupy a central place in the theorisations of social relations and social interactions in the modern city. But theoretical perspectives formulated in Western urban contexts tend to assume clear-cut distinction between Gesellschaft and Gemeinschaft, and between the public and private realms, and assume that encounter automatically steers people towards the ethics and politics of difference. These optics represent epistemologies which for the most part address the socio-spatial nexus in Euro-American urban modernity, and are ill equipped for elucidating the contingent, improvised relationships between public space and multiple urban modernities beyond the West. This paper works on the trail of the comparative urbanism and delves into configurations of publicness in “square dance” in reform-era urban China. Starting from historical conceptions of publicness in China but being mindful of how they are reconfigured and renegotiated amid a rapid transition towards urban modernity, this paper argues that publicness in reform-era China is of a largely experimental, negotiated nature. On the one hand, square dance exceeds sociological accounts and categories which produce epistemological opposition between stranger and community, between public self and intimate affiliations. It incubates sentiments of collectivism that overcome anonymity and strangeness but do not contradict the ethos of individualism in the modern city. On the other hand, square dance can be conceptualised as an active process of urban learning, in which people are motivated to reflect over what codes, rules, and ethics are needed for governing urban publics. In all, this paper aims to broaden the conceptual spectrum of the ideas of public space and urban civic cultures through comparative analysis and theorisation. The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). © 2019 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/275178
ISSN
2017 Impact Factor: 3.207
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.255

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorQian, J-
dc.contributor.authorLu, Y-
dc.date.accessioned2019-09-10T02:37:09Z-
dc.date.available2019-09-10T02:37:09Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2019, v. 44 n. 4, p. 692-706-
dc.identifier.issn0020-2754-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/275178-
dc.description.abstractCivic cultures in public space occupy a central place in the theorisations of social relations and social interactions in the modern city. But theoretical perspectives formulated in Western urban contexts tend to assume clear-cut distinction between Gesellschaft and Gemeinschaft, and between the public and private realms, and assume that encounter automatically steers people towards the ethics and politics of difference. These optics represent epistemologies which for the most part address the socio-spatial nexus in Euro-American urban modernity, and are ill equipped for elucidating the contingent, improvised relationships between public space and multiple urban modernities beyond the West. This paper works on the trail of the comparative urbanism and delves into configurations of publicness in “square dance” in reform-era urban China. Starting from historical conceptions of publicness in China but being mindful of how they are reconfigured and renegotiated amid a rapid transition towards urban modernity, this paper argues that publicness in reform-era China is of a largely experimental, negotiated nature. On the one hand, square dance exceeds sociological accounts and categories which produce epistemological opposition between stranger and community, between public self and intimate affiliations. It incubates sentiments of collectivism that overcome anonymity and strangeness but do not contradict the ethos of individualism in the modern city. On the other hand, square dance can be conceptualised as an active process of urban learning, in which people are motivated to reflect over what codes, rules, and ethics are needed for governing urban publics. In all, this paper aims to broaden the conceptual spectrum of the ideas of public space and urban civic cultures through comparative analysis and theorisation. The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). © 2019 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1475-5661-
dc.relation.ispartofTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers-
dc.rightsPreprint This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article using the DOI]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. Postprint This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article using the DOI]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.-
dc.subjectcivic culture-
dc.subjectcomparative urbanism-
dc.subjectpublic space-
dc.subjectpublic–private divide-
dc.subjectsquare dance-
dc.titleOn the trail of comparative urbanism: square dance and public space in China-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailQian, J: jxqian@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityQian, J=rp02246-
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/tran.12321-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-85068530872-
dc.identifier.hkuros302814-
dc.identifier.volume44-
dc.identifier.issue4-
dc.identifier.spage692-
dc.identifier.epage706-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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