Publication: The (in)consistent community boundaries : temporality in multiple social-spatial interactions
Boundaries are temporal. The perception of a boundary is an interactive process in relation to specific social contexts. This article investigates the temporality of community boundaries, focusing on their social-spatial interactions through performatives, which contribute to both the inconsistency and consistency of the perceived boundaries, and analyzes the dynamic community boundaries in time with empirical evidences from two typical Beijing neighborhoods. Building on an analogy with theater performances, the article brings forward a conceptual framework for the understanding and analysis of community boundaries in urban space, with a focus on the stimulators of spatial-temporal transformations. The temporality of boundaries can be understood in two perspectives, situational and representational. While the former promotes inconsistency of boundaries with ruptures and shifts, the latter brings consistency to boundaries through bring diachronic, repeating perceptions to the contemporary spaces. The temporality of community boundaries implies a connection of the neighborhood and surrounding urban areas. The more a community is integrated, the more changes and shifts take place to the boundaries, which hence become flexible, tolerant, and porous with publicness.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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