Culture and Ideology at an Invented Place

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9781443851381: Culture and Ideology at an Invented Place
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The theme park, as a special kind of landscape, has become a major subject in interdisciplinary studies and received increasing scholarly attention in the past few decades. Analytic perspectives have varied from American approaches, which treat the theme park as the production base of the American Dream, to various interpretations of the cultural space from semiotic, structural and post-modernistic approaches. Other studies of the theme park have been conducted in a more practical way with a focus on economic development and urban designing for the local and peripheral surroundings. Such research has proved to be beneficial in understanding the theme park as a multiple-dimension space in an ever-changing cultural context. The Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) theme park is one of the most popular tourist sights in China, a space which epitomizes the country's cultural business and Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, an emerging metropolis. As the ultimate icon of Chinese and global cultural representation, OCT has attracted visitors from around the world. This book's focus on OCT will shed a cultural, political and ideological light on the "multiple space" constructed and consumed in both China and beyond. In view of the overwhelming quantity of theme park studies in the USA and Europe, a shift of orientation to China becomes significant as the emerging theme parks in the country are described as "springing up like bamboo shoots after a rain".

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About the Author:

Zhang Pinggong holds an MA and a PhD in Literary and Cultural Research from Staffordshire University in England. He is now Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China, where he also serves as Supervisor of the Program of Comparative Cultural Studies.


The work provides a very readable, critical review of the recent development of theme parks in China, in particular the Overseas Chinese Town Theme Park at Shenzen. The work is well-grounded in a critical understanding of the role of theme parks as cultural texts... As an important study of an important contemporary phenomenon, it illustrates in considerable detail the distinctive nature of OCT park and will be of interest to a range of readers in fields such as cultural studies, tourism, sociology and human geography. --Stephen Williams, Staffordshire University

Non-Western theme parks have attracted very little attention from social scientists, even though they can be considered important sites for the examination of the influence and limits of globalization. With this important study of the OCT theme park, Zhang provides us with a detailed examination of the extent to which the Western model of the theme park is replicated in the Chinese context. In this way, he provides crucial insights that will be of great interest to students of globalization --Alan Bryman, University of Leicester

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