Internal and External Spaces: The Emotional Capital of Tianjin's Italian Concession

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Journal Article
Emotion, Space and Society, 2010, June, 3 (1), pp. 62 - 70
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This article concentrates on the relationship between emotions and space. The specific terrain of investigation is the former Italian concession in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. This site is currently renegotiating its identity between reinvention of the past (19011945) and property-led regeneration. Elaborating on the notion of emotional capital, the article explores the dialectics of power between the internal and external spaces. The aim is to shed light on the role that emotions played in the construction of a unified Italian national identity projected onto the colonial space of Tianjin. The current re-packaging of the colonial past to promote Tianjins globalising ambitions reveals another kind of emotional capital, which is embodied by the Yi(dali)shi fengqingqu, the so-called `Italian Business Park.
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