Urban Cosmopolitan Chauvinism and the Politics of Rural Identity

  • Eric C. Thompson
Part of the ARI - Springer Asia Series book series (ARI, volume 3)


Urbanism, as the term is used in this chapter, refers to a cultural milieu found throughout societies, in places both urban and rural. A common sentiment of cultural urbanism is urban cosmopolitan chauvinism—in which cities are felt to be and expressed as sites of diversity, modernity, progress, wealth, and in other ways positively valued. In contrast, the rural as urbanism’s other and rural people are cast as backward, unsophisticated, homogeneous, conservative, poor, and otherwise lacking in various ways. Through such imaginings, cultural urbanism creates subaltern rural identities. This chapter examines how such subaltern rural identities provide discursive grounds for political action and mobilization. It compares four cases—Malaysia, America, China, and Thailand. Each of these has very different cultures of urbanism and diverse political systems. Nevertheless, the politics of rural identity can be seen as playing a role in national politics—even if this role is often not made very explicit in political analysis or political discourse within each country.


Relative Deprivation Republican Party Political Mobilization Cultural Divide Village People 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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