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Abbas, Ackbar, “Cosmopolitan De-scriptions: Shanghai and Hong Kong" (2000)

Title : “Cosmopolitan De-scriptions: Shanghai and Hong Kong"

Author(s) : Abbas, Ackbar

Year : 2000

Type : Journal article

Subject : Unknown

Keywords : space;architecture;culture;cultural;

Journal : Public Culture,

Volume : 12,

Number : 3,

Start page : 769

End page : 786

Language:Name : English

Support : Print

Abstract : Globalism has changed the meaning of cosmopolitanism & its valences. This article looks at the cosmopolitan through the history of Shanghai & Hong Kong & the urban cultures that resulted. It argues that cosmopolitanism must take place in specific sites & situations that are defined as nonplaces. During the 1920s & 1930s, Shanghai could be described as a cosmopolitanism of extraterritoriality. From the 1980s onward in Hong Kong, there was a cosmopolitanism of dependency. The historical spaces of the two cities are compared. It is argued that the old & the new are compressed together in an apocalyptic now, as they strive to fit into the new global space. Cosmopolitanism is the ability to behave well under difficult cultural situations. The question is whether or not the kinds of changes taking place now make it impossible to behave well. It is concluded that cultural arbitrage may be a way of creating global culture worthy of the name.



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