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Neglect of a neighbourhood: oral accounts of life in ‘old Beijing’ since the eve of the People's Republic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2013

Contemporary China Centre, University of Westminster, 32–8 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW, UK


Oral accounts of life over seven decades in Dashalanr, a popular neighbourhood in central Beijing, reveal a social world that despite being shaped by the state's policies of social and political classification, housing and employment, has been resistant to complete appropriation by them. Based on research in the neighbourhood since 2005, and drawing on Xuanwu District archives, this article examines local residents’ accounts of long decades of hardship and neglect. With an analytical framework that links gender with temporality, place and space, it suggests ways in which their singular experiences can be read as historical narrative.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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