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Political and social reality of the city of Seoul Polarization refers to the process of grouping of two opinions into two extreme ends. Social polarization arises from the normal societal stratifications and depicts itself in nearly every aspect of life in the people habiting a particular geographical location…
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Download file to see previous pages... The city of Seoul in southern Korea is therefore no exception and experiences one of the most radical extents of polarization evident in its pattern of habitation and the people’s way of life in the city. The disparity between the two regions: Gangnam and Gangbuk dates back as early as the 17 BC when the region around Pungnap became the administrative capital of the Joseon dynasty. Pungnap is located in a region believed to be in the Gangnam side of the city. It is not clear the exact location of the region but the royal dynasty that ruled the early Korea resides in this region owing to its favorable climatic condition and the forested neighborhood it therefore provided. This implies that the region has for a long time had the ambient of wealth, which thereby influenced its distinctive architecture and settlement pattern. The subsequent occupants of the city followed the settlement pattern, which secluded the Pungnap region alienating it for the royalties while the rest of the subjects settled in other parts of the city notable on the eastern side of the river Han currently the Gangbuk region. The special city of Seoul is the capital city of South Korea and arguably the largest modern day metropolis in the entire Korea. It is home to approximately fifty million people most of whom are South Korean nationals but also provides residence to more than ten million international business people (O'Loughlin 33). The city has an elaborate design, one that considers and showcases the economic growth of the country and its interesting history. The architecture of most skyscrapers in the city embodies the modernism in design and comfort but also imbed the rich cultural history of the South Korean people. The wide clean highways, the artistically tall building structures, and the every glaring subway stations among other interesting features such as Seoul’s nightlife all act as a unifying feature to the diverse people of the city. However, behind the glamor and the beauty, the truth of the city lies in a more analytical scrutiny of the residences’ way of life. It is conspicuous that the city has two extreme ends that find their way in virtually every aspect of life of the people in the city including the city design and its initial planning. River Han divides the city into two and the kind of life on each side of the river is distinct of Seoul economic stratification. Liberal markets have effective yet relatively concealed mechanisms of discrimination. While everywhere is accessible and every product available in the market, the price tag on the commodities and services in the market always ensure that the rich rarely interacted with the poor. Additionally, it provides for an effective mechanism of keeping the rich to their own society and possibly denying the poor access to such societies. Seoul is one such city. Being an industrial country, the South Korean economy grows very fast with international businesses giving rise to extremely wealthy businesspersons and business empires. The wealth disparity and economic imbalance influence the design since the city has to include all its residences despite their financial positioning. This has resulted in the birth of two residential regions namely the Gangnam and the Gangbuk. Gangnam resides the rich who therefore live more flamboyant lifestyles, a feature that influences the landscape of the Gangnam region on one side of River Hang. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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