Mega-events and social change

Spectacle, legacy and public culture

Author: Maurice Roche

The spectacle of major cultural and sporting events can preoccupy modern societies. This book is concerned with contemporary mega-events, like the Olympics and Expos. Contemporary twenty-first-century macro-social changes are different from these first-phase modernisation processes, and thus they pose different problems of interpretation in relation to the mega-events they contextualise. The contemporary changes include the digital revolution, the global ecological crisis and qualitatively new and more complex forms of globalisation. Media related aspects of contemporary mega-events, particularly sports mega-events, in the context of the wider social impacts of the digital revolution are discussed in the first part of the book. The second part talks about urban and environmental aspects of mega-events, in a period of rapid urbanisation in many parts of the world and also of ecological crisis. It outlines how mega-events can be understood as being material as well as performative spectacles which are physically 'embedded' in cities as legacies Looking into mega-events' simultaneous record of creating new public spaces in modern cities. The second part also highlights the association of contemporary mega-events with urban impacts and legacies which are both green and space-making. The final part reflects on the contemporary global shift in mega-event locations and the wider context of this in complex globalisation and the changing geopolitical relations between the West and non-Western world regions. The focus is on main non-Western region of East Asia, and specifically on its core, the People's Republic of China.

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