Shanghai Nightscapes: A Nocturnal Biography Of A Global City

Paperback | August 3, 2015

byJames Farrer, Andrew David Field

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The pulsing beat of its nightlife has long drawn travelers to the streets of Shanghai, where the night scene is a crucial component of the city’s image as a global metropolis. In Shanghai Nightscapes, sociologist James Farrer and historian Andrew David Field examine the cosmopolitan nightlife culture that first arose in Shanghai in the 1920s and that has been experiencing a revival since the 1980s. Drawing on over twenty years of fieldwork and hundreds of interviews, the authors spotlight a largely hidden world of nighttime pleasures—the dancing, drinking, and socializing going on in dance clubs and bars that have flourished in Shanghai over the last century.

The book begins by examining the history of the jazz-age dance scenes that arose in the ballrooms and nightclubs of Shanghai’s foreign settlements. During its heyday in the 1930s, Shanghai was known worldwide for its jazz cabarets that fused Chinese and Western cultures. The 1990s have seen the proliferation of a drinking, music, and sexual culture collectively constructed to create new contact zones between the local and tourist populations. Today’s Shanghai night scenes are simultaneously spaces of inequality and friction, where men and women from many different walks of life compete for status and attention, and spaces of sociability, in which intercultural communities are formed. Shanghai Nightscapes highlights the continuities in the city’s nightlife across a turbulent century, as well as the importance of the multicultural agents of nightlife in shaping cosmopolitan urban culture in China’s greatest global city.

To listen to an audio diary of a night out in Shanghai with Farrer and Field, click here: http://n.pr/1VsIKAw.

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The pulsing beat of its nightlife has long drawn travelers to the streets of Shanghai, where the night scene is a crucial component of the city’s image as a global metropolis. In Shanghai Nightscapes, sociologist James Farrer and historian Andrew David Field examine the cosmopolitan nightlife culture that first arose in Shanghai in the...

James Farrer is professor of sociology and global studies at Sophia University, Tokyo, and author of Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Andrew David Field is the author of Shanghai’s Dancing World: Cabaret Culture and Urban Politics, 1919–1954 and Mu Shiying: ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:August 3, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022626288X

ISBN - 13:9780226262888

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
1          Scenes and Nightscapes          
2          The Golden Age of the Jazz Cabaret
3          The Fall and Rise of Social Dance
4          Transnational Club Cultures
5          Imbibing Cosmopolitanism
6          Jazz Metropolis
7          Nightlife Sexual Scenes
8          From Interzones to Transzones
9          Nightlife Neighborhoods
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Coauthored by sociologist Farrer and independent historian Field, who have decades of experience observing and writing in and about the metropolis, this book traces the vicissitudes of Shanghai’s nightlife industry from the early 1920s to the 2010s and provides an in-depth tour of the city’s night scenes. The authors focus on the city’s dance halls, bars, and clubs—urban spaces that speak a global language and facilitate exchanges between Chinese and non-Chinese men and women in artistic tastes, sexual and gender norms, and a sense of cosmopolitanism beyond one’s local identity. Through the dialogue between interwar Shanghai and its contemporary night self, the authors convincingly demonstrate the resilience of cultural and spatial memories that overcome setbacks and renew the character of the city at play. The authors recognize that nightlife in Shanghai, as elsewhere, did not and does not serve as a haven immune to the power politics of day life. Nuanced discussions on the hierarchies and norms that nightlife challenges, perpetuates, and produces will interest students of urban China, sexuality, cultural studies, and globalization. Recommended.”