Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 545–564 | Cite as

Everyday life patterns and social segregation of expatriate women in globalizing Asian cities: cases of Shanghai and Seoul

  • Ji-in Chang
  • Kwang-Joong Kim


Shanghai’s ‘planned’ and Seoul’s ‘evolved’ expatriate communities represent contrasting approaches to housing the highly skilled professionals and their families. The study shows how the two distinctive environments produce different spatial patterns in everyday life, and also how they affect the social segregation of the expatriate women in the two cities. Shanghai’s gated compound entails an introverted, self-contained lifestyle with little contact with the local people. Seoul’s naturally evolved community is integrated with local neighborhoods leading to the wider range of daily destinations and more everyday contact with local people. Although the inter-expat social relations appear stronger within Shanghai’s walled residential areas, the daily interaction with host city locals is more pronounced in Seoul’s mixed foreign quarters. The study suggests that, among expats and locals, residential form which allows small-scale, everyday routine social interactions may be more conducive to building a sense of community in increasingly globalizing Asian urban centers.


Everyday life patterns Social segregation Expatriate women Shanghai Seoul Asian cities Gated compound Naturally evolved community 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Smart City Science ManagementHongik UniversitySejongKorea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental PlanningSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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