Urban Symbolism


Editor: Peter J.M. Nas
This volume deals with a hitherto largely neglected aspect of cities, namely the symbolic and ritual structure in which the urban community is rooted. This fascinating facet is explored in a combined effort by social anthropologists, sociologists, historians and philologists for cities like Jakarta, Padang, Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Baghdad, Kathmandu, Lucknow, Francistown, Vitoria and Buenos Aires. Three perspectives on the study of symbolism in the urban arena are developed, namely the material, cultural and structural point of view. This results in a series of new concepts for comparative use and provides lively descriptions suffused by rich detail of the social processes by which urban symbols and rituals are constituted.

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Peter J.M. Nas (1944) is Senior Lecturer in urban and applied anthropology at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.
' ...a very interesting and informative book...' Derek Kerr, Urban Studies, 1994. ' Students, researchers and teachers in the field of anthropology, sociology and demography will find this study very useful and comprehensive reading.' Educational Book Review, 1994.
1. Introduction, Peter J.M. Nas 2. Jakarta, city full of symbols: An essay in symbolic ecology, Peter J.M. Nas 3. Mirrors and the lighthouse: A search for meaning in the monuments and great works of Sukarno’s Jakarta, 1960-1966, Jacques Leclerc 4. The power of symbols in the urban arena: The case of Padang (West Sumatra), Freek Colombijn 5. Images of a Sumatran town: Padang and the rise of urban symbolism in Indonesia, Hans-Dieter Evers 6. Urban rituals and symbols in Buenos Aires, 1806-1910, Hans Vogel 7. Signifying urban space: Vitória, Brazil. Cultural and political discourses behind urban imagery, Geert A. Banck 8. Image as territory: Paris’ Little Asia, Anne Raulin 9. A murder in Batavia or the ritual of power, Gerard Termorshuizen 10. Images of protest and the use of urban space in the 1989 Chinese People’s Movement, Frank N. Pieke 11. Toto/Tokyo: metropolis anno 17-something -19-now, Matthi Forrer 12. Making sense of urban space in Francistown, Botswana, Wim van Binsbergen 13. Bangkok as a symbol? Ideological and everyday life constructions of Bangkok, Rüdiger Korff 14. Icon, illusion and reality: Images of urbanism, Peter C.W. Gutkind 15. The urban capital in early states: Symbols and images, Henri J.M. Claessen 16. Keraton and temples in Bali: The transcendental organization of rulership between centre and periphery, Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin 17. Glory of Batavia: The image of a colonial city through the eyes of a Javanese nobleman, Willem van der Molen 18. Lucknow: The city of palace culture, Ghaus Ansari 19. Baghdad: The city of learning and pleasure, Wadia Taha Al-Najim 20. Kathmandu as a sacrificial arena, Bert van den Hoek 21. The circle and the square: Symbolic form and process in the city, Aidan Southall
All those interested in social and symbolic aspects of cities and urban societies: sociologists, anthropologists, architects, urban planners, social geographers and urban historians.