Regarding Mr. Wu, a dragon and conversations in traffic: Social acceleration, deceleration and re-acceleration in Shanghai

Journal article


Cockain, A. 2018. Regarding Mr. Wu, a dragon and conversations in traffic: Social acceleration, deceleration and re-acceleration in Shanghai. Time & Society. 27 (3), pp. 363-383. https://doi.org/10.1177/0961463X15611394
AuthorsCockain, A.
Abstract

Based upon ethnographic data gathered in Shanghai, this paper explores residents’ experiences of, and responses to, living within an environment, which displays features of what Rosa terms ‘social acceleration’. After exploring anxieties induced in residents who feel sedentary – relative to others – and their attempts to cope with this, this paper focuses upon how residents’ attitudes towards social acceleration become refracted in imaginative forms, especially texts currently circulating within Shanghai, which insinuate ostensibly supernatural characters into certain prominent locations in the city. As these texts critique ‘progress’ and register residents’ anxieties regarding social acceleration so they smooth over disquiet and unease thereby encouraging not only discourses of development but also the patterns, pace and tempo of social acceleration. The final part of this paper explores the costs of ‘slowdown’, arguing these are sufficient to compel residents not only to re-engage with, and therefore perpetuate, socially accelerating forms but perhaps even to intensify them, hence the deployment of the term ‘re-acceleration’ in the title of this paper.

KeywordsSocial acceleration, time-as-progress, deceleration, supernatural, immiscible times, re-acceleration
Year2018
JournalTime & Society
Journal citation27 (3), pp. 363-383
PublisherSAGE
ISSN0961-463X
1461-7463
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0961463X15611394
Official URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0961463X15611394
Publication dates
Online22 Oct 2015
Print01 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2021
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8z2w5/regarding-mr-wu-a-dragon-and-conversations-in-traffic-social-acceleration-deceleration-and-re-acceleration-in-shanghai

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