Dislocating contested space

Resource competition, cultural technologies and migrant space in Milan’s Chinatown

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Kevin Latham SOAS kl1@soas.ac.uk

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This paper explores the need to understand the cultural aspects of the production of space and the use of communications technologies in the Chinatown area of Milan, Italy, centred on Via Paolo Sarpi just to the northeast of the city centre. I argue that although we can understand some aspects of this space and Chinese migrants’ production of it in terms of the history of Chinese, largely Wenzhounese, migration with its associated social and economic models and practices, in order to understand the dynamic negotiation of space in the restrictively controlled Via Paolo Sarpi we need also to incorporate the cultural use of contemporary communications technologies – smartphones in particular – into that understanding.

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