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Life in Public Spaces: A Theater of the Streets, Social Exclusion, and a Safe Zone in Shanghai

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This article reports on fieldwork in Shanghai during 2007 and 2008. Orum was a Fulbright Scholar at the time teaching at Fudan University, and doing research on the topic of public space. Along with his students he examined how public spaces were used in several parts in Shanghai, plus they interviewed a number of recent migrants who worked as vendors on the streets and formed part of the informal economy. The article outlines the theoretical importance of public spaces in general, and then provides an interpretation of how those spaces are used both for a “theater of the streets” and a “safe zone” for political discussion.

Affiliations: 1: University of Texas-Austin ; 2: University of Illinois-Chicago


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