Liu Haiyan . Kongjian yu shehui: Jindai Tianjin chengshi de yanbian : (Space and society: The transformation of modern Tianjin). Tianjin, China: Tianjin shehui kexueyuan chubanshe , 2003. 363 pp. Paperback 22.00 RMB, ISBN 7-806-8803-9. As an old trading center and a treaty port, Tianjin followed a complex and multifaceted course of modernization that cannot be understood as just a state project. Its residents were a mixed population, including a large number of peasant migrants primarily from the north China plain, a small but powerful population of foreign settlers and Chinese elites, and a scattered band of local power holders organized in the form of guilds and secret societies. The values and lifestyles of these different groups clashed and amalgamated, making an exceptionally exuberant urban society. It is not surprising that one finds a host of sometimes contradictory and often symbiotic interests shaping the city's development--the business interests of the foreign powers, the modernization agenda of the local government, and the divergent demands of the population. To understand modernization in Space and Society, Liu elucidates a longer span of time than most scholarship on the topic, extending back to the Ming dynasty and forward to the Republic. The
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Feb 24, 2008
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