Beijing Time, Black Snow and Magnificent Chaoyang: sociality, markets and temporal shift in China's capital

Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Modern social order is premised on a shared conception of and obedience to a set of defined temporal systems. Time is therefore a powerful tool with which to layer, classify and police the nature of social order. This article explores the relationship between temporality and the social in China's capital, Beijing. The article draws on observations of Chinese film of the 1990s, the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2011, and the Chaoyang district beautification campaign, to identify how temporal structures and symbols are traded and manipulated in the pursuit of political rectification and harmony. The article is based on an extended review of Michael Dutton's recent book, Beijing Time, and refers its new observations to the examples and premises in that book, which are in turn informed by Dutton's other work on policing and street life in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-339
Number of pages19
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • alternative temporality
  • Beijing
  • revolutionary time
  • social order

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