The Macro Perspective of Microcosm On the Study of Chinese Urban History Taking Chengdu as a Case


2019-01-08 01:37

Wang Di
Journal of Tsinghua

Abstract: Public sphere is the best place to observe social relationswhere all kinds of peopleespecially lower class peopleconducted their daily lifeIn Chinahoweverthe topic of public life has been ignored by scholars of urban History. Studies of urban space of China can explore the relationship between commoners and public sphere and public lifeA research that focuses on a small public place such as streets and teahouses in 20th century Chengdu needs place the microcosm into the macro context of studying Chinese urban historySuch studies can lead us to rethink studies of urban popular culture and enhance our understanding of urban lower class people and elitesTo have a whole picture of the citywe have to enter the lowest level of society and to understand the most basic units of urban social lives by examining the details of everyday life although those details look insignificantThe mutual influence of urban residents and their usage of public sphere made the major changes of street and teahouse culture in the 20th centuryTo study these changes can help us achieve a better understanding of how social reformers and reforms and other movements influenced the relationship among ordinary peopleelitesand the state

The Chinese version appeared in Journal of Tsinghua , 2018(06).



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