The Newsletter 55 Winter 2010

Leaping beyond nostalgia: Shanghai's urban life ethnography

Nostalgia has consistently been a motivation for the study of contemporary Chinese urban life. Scholars have produced an abundance of work on urbanism from a pro-historic preservation perspective and, for example, have long claimed that the lilong house (‘li’ means neighbourhoods, ‘long’ means lanes) is an efficient form of housing for the residents of Shanghai. Non Arkaraprasertkul argues, however, that these studies fall short in terms of future city planning, as they omit the personal experiences and viewpoints of urban residents regarding the efficiency of such dwellings.

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