Beyond the residents–businesses clash–urban movements and cultural struggles in Shida, Taipei (2007–2015)

Eva Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Between the mid-2000s and the early 2010s, the neighborhoods around National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), an area widely known as Shida, unexpectedly became a tourist hotspot due to the rapidly expanding night market there. Dissatisfied residents mobilized, and for several years they engaged in intense legal and discursive clashes with area businesses, the Taipei City government, and other groups in the community. Drawing on long-term observation, ethnographic research, and in-depth interviews, this article explains Shida’s spatial change from the perspectives of urban movements and cultural struggles. Specifically, it describes how three groups in Shida became organized around divergent purposes, values, and imaginations of the community. Deploying different cultural resources–ranging from civic culture, subcultural ethics to community building–the groups further enter into complex negotiation with the spheres of politics and economics. Ultimately, there was no consensus reached in the Shida case, and though many lament the passing of the area’s unique culture and many of its businesses, the dynamics between the small-scale mobilizations in Shida generated invaluable critical local wisdoms that acknowledge the desire for multiple communities in a physical locality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-46
Number of pages22
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 2


  • Taipei
  • cultural struggles
  • social movements
  • spatial politics
  • subculture scenes
  • urban communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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