Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination: Creating Atmospheres for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination

Creating Atmospheres for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, 1st Edition

By Rodanthi Tzanelli


234 pages

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Hardback: 9781138300286
pub: 2017-10-05
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315136158
pub: 2017-10-10
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Atmosphere, the elusive ambiance of a place, enables or hinders its mobility in global consumption contexts. Atmosphere connects to social imaginaries, utopian representational frames producing the culture of a city or country. But who resolves atmospheric contradictions in a place’s social and cultural rhythms, when the eyes of the world are turned on it?

Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination examines ephemeral and solidified atmospheres in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the handover ceremony to Tokyo for the 2020 Games. Indeed, highlighting the various social and cultural implications upon these Olympic Games hosts, Tzanelli argues that the ‘Olympic City’ is produced by aesthetic "imagineers", mobile groups of architects, artists and entrepreneurs, who aesthetically ‘engineer’ native cultures as utopias. Thus, it is explored as to how Rio and Tokyo’s "imagineers" problematize notions of creativity, cosmopolitan togetherness and belonging.

Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination will appeal to postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and professionals interested in fields such as: Globalization Studies, Mobility Theory, Cultural Sociology, International Political Economy, Conference and Event Management, Tourism Studies and Migration Studies.


Once again, Rodanthi Tzanelli offers a high-quality and promising book, where she theorizes on the cultural borders of the Olympic City in the ceremonials of Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. With delightful prose, her development exhibits a fertile ground to understand media events as the juxtaposition of two economic forms: the artificial economy, which focuses on the doctrine of security; and the economy of imagination, more oriented to the production of architectural legacies as artificially fabricated and externally imposed.

Korstanje Maximiliano, University of Palermo, Argentina

This book makes a major contribution to understanding mega-events through a cultural sociological analysis. Grounded in a multi-disciplinary literature, it will appeal to readers coming from a wide range of perspectives. The central theme of Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination provides an innovative and compelling lens through which to understand and explore mega-events.

Paul Lynch, Professor of Critical Hospitality and Tourism, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1 -- Staging the mega-event: Militourist imaginaries in an Olympic city

CHAPTER 2 -- Globalising utopias: Imagineering the Olympic event, making the world

Homo mobilis: Beyond traditional bio-politics

CHAPTER 3 -- Tomorrow never comes: Rio’s museum of our futures

CHAPTER 4 -- Choreomobility and artistic worldmaking: Retrieving Rio’s submerged centre

Shrinking budgets, shrinking worlds?

CHAPTER 5 -- The Opening and Closing Ceremonies: Migration, nostalgia and the making of tourism mobilities

CHAPTER 6 -- Tokyo 2020: Urban amnesia and the techno-romantic spirit of capitalism

CHAPTER 7 -- The Handover Ceremony: Digital gift economies in a global city

CHAPTER 8 -- Conclusion: Dark journeys and hopeful futures

About the Author

Rodanthi Tzanelli is Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology at the University of Leeds, UK

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General