Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia's Cities: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia's Cities

1st Edition

Edited by Melissa Butcher, Selvaraj Velayutham


210 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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This book documents urban experiences of dissent and emergent resistance against disjunctive global and local capital, technology and labour flows that converge and intersect in some of Asia’s fastest growing cities. Rather than constructing occupants of the city as simply passive victims of globalisation or urbanisation, it presents ways in which people are using everyday strategies embedded in cultural practice to challenge dominant socio-economic and political forces impacting on urban space.

Taking the city as a site of contestation and a stage where social conflicts are played out, the book highlights the connections between urban power and dissent; the nature and impact of resistance; how the spatiality and built environment of the city generates conflict and, conversely, how protagonists use the cityscape to stage their everyday and public dissent.

The contributors explore the conditions, strategies, and outcomes of such dissent and forms of cultural resistance, and explore the following themes:

  • the impact of urban development, gentrification and ghetto-isation;
  • urban counter narratives and the re-imagining of city spaces;
  • the role of grassroots activism and social movements;
  • cultural resistance in the creation of neighbourhoods and communities;
  • the impact of gender, class and the politics of identity on forms of dissent;
  • the formation of transgressive spaces.


"I find Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia’s Cities empirically comprehensive, interesting, informative and a must-read for those interested in globalisation, urban conflict and protest. Most importantly, all the chapters raise crucial questions about what constitutes the vision for a better world; to that extent, this book is an engaging critique of exclusionary urban transformations." - Ipsita Chatterjee, Urban Studies, 47(3), March 2010

Table of Contents

Introduction: Cultures of Resistance in Asia’s Transforming Cities Melissa Butcher and Selvaraj Velayutham 1. Seeds of Dissent: The Politics of Resistance to Beijing’s Olympic Redevelopment Anne-Marie Broudehoux 2.Negotiating Beijing’s Identity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Maurizio Marinelli 3.Quietly, quietly, quietly: Beijing’s Migrant Civil Society Organisations Jennifer Hsu 4. Singapore’s Public Housing Spaces: Alter - ‘native’ Spaces in Transition Limin Hee 5. ‘Talking cock’: Everyday Dissent through Complaint and Humour in Singapore Selvaraj Velayutham 6.Negotiating Urban Activism: Women, Vending and the Transformation of Streetscapes in the Urban Philippines B. Lynne Milgram 7.The Streets of Kuala Lumpur: City-space, ‘race’ and civil disobedience Yeoh Seng Guan 8.Campaigning Against its Eviction: Local Trade in New ‘world-class’ Delhi Diya Mehra 9. Re-writing Delhi: Cultural Resistance and Cosmopolitan Texts Melissa Butcher 10. Why Loiter? Radical Possibilities for Gendered Dissent Shilpa Phadke, Shilpa Ranade and Sameera Khan

About the Editors

Melissa Butcher is a lecturer in the Department of Geography, Open University, UK.

Selvaraj Velayutham is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General