GeoJournal

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 381–397 | Cite as

City-renaming and its effects in China

Article

Abstract

Since the 1980s, toponymy studies in Western societies has shifted away from traditional to critical paradigm, which is focused on political and cultural conflicts involved in place-(re)naming. But Chinese toponymist has paid little attention to this turning. City-renaming for tourism promotion or place marketing and stakeholders’ resulting responses in the context of China’s special ideology and tourism flourish will be good materials for critical toponymy studies. By field observation and interpretation on online texts, this article outlined the space–time process of city-renaming practices and their effects both positive and negative on touristic matters such as destination and resources, outside tourists and local habitants as well as neighbourhood relationship, dissected the renaming process of two typical tourist cities and summarized the traits of tourism placename field (TPF) by focusing on stakeholders’ responses to city-renaming practices referring to Bourdieu’s Field Theory. It found that, appropriate renaming can improve cities’ popularity at low-cost and high-efficiency, inappropriate one may do harm to destination, resource, tourists, locals and neighbourhood relationship. There existed variant responses to official renaming-decisions owing to stakeholders’ various habitus and capital conditions . TPF in China was dominated by governmental hegemony and economic priorities, which is the determinant that other sorts of capital in toponyms should yield to economic capital. However, a head-on boycott launched by other stakeholders will occur if renaming causes their direct economic loss rather than be passive victims.

Keywords

City-renaming Effects Tourism placename field (TPF) Stakeholders China 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41571139).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest with others.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by the author.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TourismNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Department of Geographical ScienceNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina

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