Material Symbolism on Saigon's Edge: The Political-Economic and Symbolic Transformation of Hô Chí Minh City's Periurban Zones
Cities and their fringes are both symbolic and material, imbued with subjective meanings as well as objective physical attributes. In this paper, I show how the physical and social transformation of periurban space in Hô Chí Minh City emerges from and also contributes to a dynamic interaction between symbolic understandings of space as well as material, political economic forces that transform space in concrete ways. On the symbolic level, I show how conceptions of “inside” versus “outside” as well as rural versus urban play into Vietnamese meaning systems that lend a sense of conceptual order and coherence to the larger organization of urban space. In rapidly urbanizing contexts like Hô Chí Minh City, the periurban fringe is dynamic and ever-changing, and the political-economic forces of real-estate speculation, city planning and infrastructure development interact with Vietnamese notions of what an ideal city might look like. This paper shows how periurban spaces in different parts of Hô Chí Minh City can best be understood as spaces of “material symbolism,” places where the material attributes of space, the political economy of development, and the symbolic meaning attributed to space all restructure each other in dialectical fashion. Just as symbolic meanings frame how residents perceive these emergent spaces, these same spaces also transform the symbolic meaning of Vietnamese cities.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 September 2011
More about this publication?
- Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focusing on important current political, economic and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-50 book reviews. Published continuously as a quarterly since 1928 under the same name, it is the oldest English-language journal with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. It enjoys an international reputation based on the high quality of articles, and its extensive book reviews section.
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Information for Advertisers
- Book Reviews
- Free Sample Issues
- Library Recommendation Form
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites