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Searching for “deep modernities” in the construction of modern Chinese identities: using history and heritage in the indigenisation of global capitalist modernity in Chinese cities’.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew LawORCiD


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Since the 1960s a great deal of work has emerged on the use of history, nostalgia and heritage by Chinese elites (including the central Chinese state). However, whilst this work is important there is less research into the use of history, nostalgia and heritage by the local elites in China. An exception to this rule rests with research on growth coalitions within the city of Shanghai, although much more research remains to be done on broader assemblages of elite actors in other provinces and locales throughout the nation. Revisiting work on Shanghai, but exploring new case studies on elites within Wuhan and Xi'an, this book chapter examines the role of history, nostalgia and heritage in the production of new forms of economic and cosmopolitan identities. Specifically it is suggested that through different kinds of ancient, imperial and republican histories, nostalgia and heritage, elite urban growth coalitions have sought to embed particular 'deep' narratives of (global) capitalism and cosmopolitanism within the cities they help administer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Law A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The 2016 International Symposium on Reclaiming Identity and (Re)Materializing Pasts: Approaches to Heritage Conservation in China

Year of Conference: 2016

Online publication date: 06/04/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016