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Sunday, October 03, 2004

(Social strata) Owned and rental apartments

There's been a piece of reporting in a recent "Talking about the Korean Society" (Han'guk sahoerûl malhanda) in KBS about the divide between the owned and rental apartment houses within a newly constructed apartment complex in Bongcheon-dong, Gwanak-gu. There is one rental apartment house in the complex, and that is divided from the rest of the complex by a fence, both literally and figuratively.

A photo taken during the construction of one of the new apartment complexes in Bongcheon-dong (may or may not be different from the case in the program). Picture source: Flying City.

One thing which has been paid attention to in the emergence of apartment housing as the middle-class standard is that social stratification became more easily pronounced spatially and geographically. In small housing, spatial divisions between social strata were not as clear as they could be made in apartment complexes. It is my understanding that in redevelopment areas such as in Bongcheon-dong, new apartment housing will also be provided for the original low-income inhabitants whose houses are cleared away. These are rental houses, which understandable may be a socioeconomic (?) nuisance for the residents in owned apartments. And therefore the fence, which the rental apartment residents in this case have been trying to have removed in vain.

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