Embodying Chinese urbanism: towards a research agenda


  • The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).


Despite increasing academic interest focused on Chinese cities, there has been relatively little sustained theoretical and empirical engagement with critical approaches that have enlivened urban geography over the past 30 years. In this paper we seek to advance this research agenda by focusing on embodied urban geographies. More specifically, we consider case studies of dance and massage in order to show how critical engagement with everyday social and cultural forms and practices has much to offer understanding of urban life in China. Discussing theoretical terrain relating to dance and massage with reference to public/private space, individual/collective practices and experiences, and comfort/discomfort, we also signpost important contributions that critical research into Chinese urbanism can make to broader debates within and beyond urban geography.