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Communicating the rhythms of retromodernity: ‘confused and mixed Shanghai’
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9615-237X
2013 (English)In: Sociological Review, ISSN 0038-0261, E-ISSN 1467-954X, Vol. 61, 144-161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Visitors on sight-seeing tours in contemporary globalizing Shanghai observe the futuristic ambitions, exponential development and chaotic polyrhythmicity of New Shanghai. The nostalgia industry simultaneously ‘teleports’ the tourists on tours back to a time when Shanghai was a legendary world metropolis; the Golden Age of the inter-war era. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre's critical rhythmanalysis, and by Jonathan Sterne's conceptualization of communication as organized movement and action, this paper explores bus tours by commission of the municipal government. Shanghai is the place where the movements of the buses, as well as the tourists on board, become part of communicating the place identity and multiple rhythms of the city. The buses are conceived as means of communication, in a twofold sense, and as both underscoring and binding together the many incommensurabilities of place: old and new, Western and Chinese, industrialism and post-industrialism, nationalism and globalism. The author argues that mobility, media modernity and a confounding mixture (reflexively manifested on the tour ‘Confused and Mixed Shanghai’) constitute a collective memory of the city, and that the buses in all their seeming banality, communicate Shanghai's particular rhythms of retromodernity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 61, 144-161 p.
Keyword [en]
rhythmanalysis, memory, place identity, mobility, bus tours, Shanghai
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132637DOI: 10.1111/1467-954X.12058OAI: diva2:953416
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-17 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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