1st Edition

Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia’s Cities

Edited By Melissa Butcher, Selvaraj Velayutham Copyright 2009
    224 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.