Urban Theory, Asia, and Religion
This book explores “urban aspirations” in Asia. Focusing on cities such as Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, Mumbai, Bangkok, and Shanghai, it examines notions of “urban society” to understand the different trajectories of urbanization and social formation in human society, along with their insertion in forms of governmentality. It discusses city planning and its implications for a politics of heritage, the political consequences of the imagined and real urban-rural divide between the city and the rest of the country, the porous and arbitrary limits of the city, and how settlements in the city create “urban villages” of immigrants that become intricate parts of the urban fabric. The book also proposes to use religion as a lens through which we can acquire a better view of what urban aspirations are, regardless of whether they are called secular or religious. Finally, it highlights the role of imperial modernity in the postcolonial politics of Asian cities, as well as the ways in which the sacred is mobile and creates social space in the city.
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