‘Suzhi’ is a word so ubiquitous in China that no one can define it. We hear it from the mouths of our professors, cab drivers, political leaders, colleagues and we see traces of it in television ads, on patriotic banners, and school gates. Well-behaved children have suzhi. So do the principled soldiery, the traveled and moneyed, the socially circumspect. But what does suzhi actually mean? While at its most basic, suzhi signifies upstanding character and propriety; to say that someone lacks or has suzhi carries with it a whole host of connotations involving place, class, and culture. But does it carry the same connotation to everyone? And, what does suzhi mean in the context of urbanisation?
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Concrete Flux is a multi-disciplinary journal which takes as its subject matter China’s hyper-fast emerging urban spaces, their meaning and one’s everyday experiences of them. We believe that a new configuration of space through urbanisation will lead to a new configuration of society. Our aim, then, is to contribute to some understanding of or gain insight into what these spaces, which seem to emerge faster than our minds can log and assess, may mean.