Civilizing Beijing: Social Beautification, Civility and Citizenship at the 2008 Olympics

  • Anne-Marie Broudehoux
Part of the Global Culture and Sport book series (GCS)


In recent years, mega-events have been increasingly studied in the urban literature for their capacity to enhance the global visibility of a city and their role as catalysts for the modernization of urban infrastructure in host cities. Yet another important urban aspect of mega-events-led city marketing and urban image construction that is too often overlooked in the literature is the way these high-visibility global-scale events also foster state interventions to reform and control social behaviour. Hosting mega-events often pressures host cities to reinvent their image by transforming their human environment through social beautification and disciplining programmes. Urban research on mega-events is generally concerned with the socio-spatial implications of Olympic redevelopment, the impacts of mega-events on local politics and public policy, the economic legacy of mega-events and their role in city marketing (De Lange 1998, Essex & Chalkley 1998, Burbank et al. 2001, Gold & Gold 2008). Only rarely are the important ‘civilization campaigns’ that accompany these initiatives examined (Choi 2004, Lenskyj 2002).


Chinese Communist Party Olympic Game Social Reform Civic Virtue Harmonious Society 
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  1. 2.
    See for example, Guo Shixing’s 1999 play about disrespect, Bad Words Street.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Simon Leys’s (1997) introduction to his translation of the Analects of Confucius.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2012

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  • Anne-Marie Broudehoux

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