Department of Humanities and Creative Writing
This article examines the ways in which taxi driving and China’s quest for global ascendency are interlinked and enmeshed. Inspired by de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life and his conceptual formulation of “strategy” and “tactic”, this article explores how taxi drivers, through their everyday practice of driving, found ways and moments to tactically challenge and appropriate so-called “civility campaigns” and a rising China. By demonstrating the numerous instances of tactics taxi drivers used, I argue that their socio-economic marginality did not, in fact, reduce them to a “powerless” position. I bring in Foucault’s analytics of power and governmentality to add to de Certeau’s work by helping to explain the intertwined relationship between government and governed to shed light on the complexity implicated in the dynamics of power relations and resistance. I examine the period around the 2008 Beijing Olympics as it involved large-scale attempts to showcase China through (urban) transformation.
China, taxi drivers, strategies, tactics, civility campaigns, power relations, 2008 Beijing Olympics
Source Publication Title
Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
German Institute of Global and Area Studies / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
Link to Publisher's Edition
Chong, Pak Lei Gladys. "Driving the city: Taxi drivers and the tactics of everyday life in Beijing." Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 43.4 (2014): 175-205.