Constructing, Creating and Contesting Cityscapes. A Socio-Anthropological Approach to Urban Transformation in Southern Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China

Kobi, Madlen (2016). Constructing, Creating and Contesting Cityscapes. A Socio-Anthropological Approach to Urban Transformation in Southern Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China. Everyday Cultures in China and its Neighboring Countries - Alltagskulturen Chinas und seiner Nachbarn: Vol. 6. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag

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This manuscript is based on a PhD thesis submitted at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern in 2014. The dissertation was part of the research project „Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Chinese Territoriality. The Development of Infrastructure and Han Migration into the Region“ under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Heinzpeter Znoj and financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF. Madlen Kobi analyzes the architectural and socio-political transformation of public places and spaces in rapidly urbanizing southern Xinjiang, P.R. China, and in doing so pays particular attention to the cities of Aksu and Kaxgar. As the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region lies in between China and Central Asia, it is especially characterized by differing political, cultural, and religious influences, and, furthermore, due to its being a multiethnic region, by multiple identities. One might expect cultural and social identities in this area to be negotiated by referring to history, religion, or food. However, they also become visible by the construction and reconstruction, if not demolition, of public places, architectural landmarks, and private residences. Based on ethnographic fieldwork performed in 2011 and 2012, the study explores everyday life in a continuously transforming urban environment shaped by the interaction of the interests of government institutions, investment companies, the middle class, and migrant workers, among many other actors. Here, urban planning, modernization, and renewal form a highly sensitive lens through which the author inspects the tense dynamics of ethnic, religious, and class-based affiliations. She respects varieties and complexities while thoroughly grounding unfolding transformation processes in everyday lived experiences. The study provides vivid insights into how urban places and spaces in this western border region of China are constructed, created, and eventually contested.

Item Type:

Book (Monograph)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Kobi, Madlen

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

1868-615X

ISBN:

978-3-447-10590-3

Series:

Everyday Cultures in China and its Neighboring Countries - Alltagskulturen Chinas und seiner Nachbarn

Publisher:

Harrassowitz Verlag

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation
[39] Schweizerische Akademie für Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (SAGW)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christiane Girardin

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2016 11:07

Last Modified:

12 Jul 2016 11:07

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/82623

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