This article reports on fieldwork in Shanghai during 2007 and 2008. Orum was a Fulbright Scholar at the time teaching at Fudan University, and doing research on the topic of public space. Along with his students he examined how public spaces were used in several parts in Shanghai, plus they interviewed a number of recent migrants who worked as vendors on the streets and formed part of the informal economy. The article outlines the theoretical importance of public spaces in general, and then provides an interpretation of how those spaces are used both for a “theater of the streets” and a “safe zone” for political discussion.
ChenMartha Alter“Rethinking the Informal Economy: Linkages with the Formal Economy and the Formal Regulatory Environment” (Working Paper Number 46)Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations2007
WuJieh-minWhyteMartin King“Chinese Migrant Workers Under Differential Citizenship: A Comparative Institutional Analysis”One Country Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China.2006CambridgeHarvard University Press5581
See for example Arendt1970:4-6plus other writings in that excellent compendium; also Arendt 2006. All of her writings in fact bear one way or another on these questions of democracy and the public sphere.