Importing the night market: urban regeneration and the Asian food aesthetic in London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

London is witnessing an increasingly frequent occurrence of “Asianstyle” night markets, especially in the form of “pop-ups” in run-down areas and derelict urban spaces. Such spaces are fashionable and highly popular, offering an aesthetic that plays upon “Asian” styles. They exist in areas that the largely middle-class clientele (who do not live there) feel are “cool” and “edgy.” The popularity of the night market as a food aesthetic and dining culture provides an example of the way in which Asian foodways are used to restructure urban life by bringing new prospects to run-down areas. A new clientele of diners play out their own cosmopolitan ideals via the night market, in a process that not only eats the Other, but insists that eating the Other is relatively everyday, and in doing so makes more complex the category of “Other.” The night market is effectively a theatre for the performance of cosmopolitan subjectivities, rich in global cultural capital. Local authorities, keen to regenerate deprived areas, are now capitalizing upon these subjects’ desires in ways that play with the fluidity of globalized identities in one of the most famous world cities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Culture & Society
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2017

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Aesthetics
Asia
Night
Urban Regeneration
Food
Authority
Dining
Foodways
Subjectivity
Witnessing
Eat
Middle Class
Diners
Fluidity
Ideal
Urban Space
Cultural Capital
Urban Life

Keywords

  • Regeneration
  • night-markets
  • aesthetics
  • cultural capital
  • cosmopolitanism

Cite this

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abstract = "London is witnessing an increasingly frequent occurrence of “Asianstyle” night markets, especially in the form of “pop-ups” in run-down areas and derelict urban spaces. Such spaces are fashionable and highly popular, offering an aesthetic that plays upon “Asian” styles. They exist in areas that the largely middle-class clientele (who do not live there) feel are “cool” and “edgy.” The popularity of the night market as a food aesthetic and dining culture provides an example of the way in which Asian foodways are used to restructure urban life by bringing new prospects to run-down areas. A new clientele of diners play out their own cosmopolitan ideals via the night market, in a process that not only eats the Other, but insists that eating the Other is relatively everyday, and in doing so makes more complex the category of “Other.” The night market is effectively a theatre for the performance of cosmopolitan subjectivities, rich in global cultural capital. Local authorities, keen to regenerate deprived areas, are now capitalizing upon these subjects’ desires in ways that play with the fluidity of globalized identities in one of the most famous world cities.",
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Importing the night market: urban regeneration and the Asian food aesthetic in London. / Hulme, Alison.

In: Food Culture & Society, Vol. 21, No. 1, 21.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - London is witnessing an increasingly frequent occurrence of “Asianstyle” night markets, especially in the form of “pop-ups” in run-down areas and derelict urban spaces. Such spaces are fashionable and highly popular, offering an aesthetic that plays upon “Asian” styles. They exist in areas that the largely middle-class clientele (who do not live there) feel are “cool” and “edgy.” The popularity of the night market as a food aesthetic and dining culture provides an example of the way in which Asian foodways are used to restructure urban life by bringing new prospects to run-down areas. A new clientele of diners play out their own cosmopolitan ideals via the night market, in a process that not only eats the Other, but insists that eating the Other is relatively everyday, and in doing so makes more complex the category of “Other.” The night market is effectively a theatre for the performance of cosmopolitan subjectivities, rich in global cultural capital. Local authorities, keen to regenerate deprived areas, are now capitalizing upon these subjects’ desires in ways that play with the fluidity of globalized identities in one of the most famous world cities.

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