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Fengshui: Changing Rules and Meanings

Ren, Youcao (2019) Fengshui: Changing Rules and Meanings. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Fengshui is both traditional and it is modern. Today its current practices remind us how a cultural specific subject dating back thousands of years evolves over time. By concentrating on landscape related issues, this study does not only provide a critical history, but also reveals how fengshui has become so current. The fact that today fengshui is being perceived as a reflection of popular culture in place making activities is likely to remind us that a place can be somewhere we simply walk past or live in, but to which we may also feel some attachment as a result of which it provided with a sense of belief. By means of both a historical and contemporary review of practices, this study reviews fengshui in different socio-cultural contexts. This enables us to understand that ‘traditionalism’ in fengshui is a relative concept. Instead, the only constant in fengshui is its adaptability, which is why it has retained its relevance both past and present. A new perspective to understanding fengshui is provided by investigating its participants, whom were visited, interviewed, and observed, both in rural and urban environment in China. By comparing revived practices in the countryside, and re-invented practices in the city, it is revealed that the survival and adaptability of fengshui are granted by both its practitioners and its participants, who reflect the varying people’s needs of both identity and belonging in place making activities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Landscape (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Ms Youcao Ren
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 08:25
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 13:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24168

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