© 2018

Re-visioning the Public in Post-reform Urban China

Poetics and Politics in Guangzhou

  • Uses the ideas of public space and urban public to investigate post-reform urban China

  • Significantly expands the relevance of public space to the understanding of urbanism in the Global South

  • Rethinks China’s post-reform urban transformation from the perspective of grassroots practices and fluid processes of identity construction

  • Provides a theoretical intervention into theories on public space in general


About this book


This book offers a theoretical intervention into the normative ideals of public space that are deeply rooted in Western urbanism. It disrupts the binaries of presence/absence, inclusion/exclusion by presenting a series of case studies that vividly convey the complexity and vicissitude of grassroots spatial practices. It engages powerfully with the question of what constitutes the “urban public” in our everyday cities. Moreover, it provides a fresh perspective on the proliferating scholarship on Chinese urbanism in the reform era by seriously considering the ways in which ordinary urban inhabitants respond to and negotiate the impacts of rapid social change and the reshuffling of the systems of values and ideologies. The urban public, therefore, is analyzed as an important field in which identities and cultural differences are formed and performed. This book is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in theories of urban public space in general or urban transformation of post-reform China in particular.


Public Space Public Sphere Urban Public Post-structural Approach Urban Sociality Urban Sexuality Social Justice Urban Transition Chinese City Post-reform China

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyThe University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

About the authors

Junxi Qian is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong. He works at the intersection of geography, urban studies and cultural studies. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. His research focuses on urban public space, place identities and place politics in transitional China, the restructuring of urban China, ethnicity and religion. He has published more than 25 articles in international journals. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Re-visioning the Public in Post-reform Urban China
  • Book Subtitle Poetics and Politics in Guangzhou
  • Authors Junxi Qian
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-10-5989-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-13-5544-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-10-5990-2
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 198
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Human Geography
    Cultural Studies
    Sociology of Culture
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