From Beverly Hills to Shangri-La and Beyond: A Relational Conjunctural Analysis of Place Names and Gentrification in Southwest China

Author Information

Michela Bonato,
University of Padova, Italy

DOI: 10.47298/cala2022.7-3
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in Asia 2022

Abstract

How are Chongqing’s upscale residential neighbourhoods (de)politicized? To answer this question, this research adopts a conjunctural perspective based on ‘problem space,’ i.e., where the conjuncture manifests its problematics, ambiguities, and contestations, questioning human-environmental relational values and urban aggrandizement.

The paper investigates the process of Chongqing land renewal in the last two decades, and its entanglement with local and national politics, shedding light on gentrification as a biopolitical technology perform, weaving new meaning, legitimation, and authoritative spaces, for Chinese economic, administrative, and ideological shifts. Critical discourse analysis is applied to frame the upscale real estate naming process, as it evokes different phases of Chongqing’s economic, cultural, and environmental adjustment. In doing so, the paper highlights how local state-entrepreneurial power geometries make space, and influence landscaping and ‘worlding,’ according to national geopolitical interests and narratives.


Keywords: Governmentality, place naming, conjunctural analysis, gentrification, relational values, Chongqing, China


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