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Question of Segregation in Modern Society

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In order to understand the spatial and social differences between these cities, it is important to be able to see how the economic structure in the time period influenced the way people lived and were able to obtain capital as well as seeing the major differences that people had socially and spatially based off of this gained capital and how that effected their everyday lives in each city.

In the time period of the industrial city we see that the base economic structure had just gone through a drastic change changing from a system of feudalism where there was a town governed by a monarch (Chengdan, 2008). Where in this system people could not own land or earn any profit, as they would pay all their remaining capital to their governed monarch. Then the change to a manufacturing based economy where people could own land or pay rent for land and gain capital by either working for others or owning your own manufacturing business (Chengdan, 2008).

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In the industrial city we see spatial segregation through the Burgess Model (see figure 1). Where in this model we see the center of the city being the central business district where the highest land value is, moving out to the second layer being the transitional zone where many of the poorer deteriorated houses are as well as abandoned buildings and factories. Moving out to the third layer where the majority of the working class lives. These tenements in these zones are not particularly large, with not much space between them. Then the fourth zone we see single housing for the middle class, where the houses are detached not like in the third working class zone where they are all close together. Better facilities are available to residents in the middle class area. The last zone is called the commuter zone as it refers to the higher class being able to afford to commute to work. In this zone the area where high income groups can afford large housing and transport costs (see figure 1).

Socially with this model we also see how class systems get put in place with the vast majority being placed in a largely excluded lower class, where services are low or nonexistent and housing is small with not much room between them (see figure 2). Living in such close proximity can promote disease and illness that can cause more people to isolate and separate them from society. We see cases of child labor in this lower class sector, making people have more children to gain more capital. This causes tenements to be vastly overpopulated and is also a factor as why there is such a large population in this social class. In the next stable but still relatively low income class has the factory overseers and the more skilled tradesmen (Pacione, 2009). In the middle income class we see the factory owners, lawyers and doctors who fall part of the very small educated population who earn substantially more than factory workers (see figure 2). Lastly we have the wealthy class who would be the upper echelon with the lowest population but owning large quantities of land and often being part of the aristocracy (Pacione, 2009).

Moving forward to the Post-Industrial city we see the large economic shift from manufactured goods from the industrial city move to a largely service based economy. Where there was a vast majority being used for work changed to a few with more skilled labor. Meaning that a large manufacturing force was no longer as important as education. Cities became decentralized and a very large increase in unemployment rate (see figure 3). An increase in telecommunication and technology helped globalize economies and cities and a highlighting factor to show income inequality and social and spatial segregation.

Spatially we see a more decentralized government giving rise to city mayors instead of a single city, housing different income and social classes where we see multiple cities that appear to have functions for that specific income class (Pacione, 2009: 62-65). A form of tension between social classes arises out of the fact that due to the privatisation of space, higher income classes will have the monopoly over this space, space which can be very limited. This monopoly then leads into the idea of gentrification which will force the other classes who want to live in this monopolized area to follow the rules, rules which can be something as simple as keeping houses a uniform colour. This hegemonic behavior of the higher income groups further adds to tension which might be eliminated if there was less privatisation. (Pacione, 2009:62-65).

We see people the middle income group segregate themselves in gated communities that have upgraded security for the fear of their hard earned goods and capital being taken away from them. We see that socially there are no longer simply classes but a shift to Blue-Collar or White-Collar workers (Pacione, 2009:62-65).

With the post-industrial city having fewer borders in countries see social and spatial segregation with the increase of immigrants. As cultures become more diverse, people tend to stick to their racial or ethnic groups creating micro-economies within themselves (Pacione, 2009:62-65).

With racial groups sticking together and the increase of crime. We see the increase in gangs and gang related crime which makes that gang segregate themselves from society.

As society and economies progress, we see a change that people who are more educated and can see a need for the people will be able to raise their standings in their income class (Canniffe, 2014). We also see that people will always segregate themselves spatially and socially to stick with their income class or “like-minded people” (Canniffe, 2014). With the further progression of technology, certain jobs and careers become obsolete increasing unemployment and creating fewer jobs for the people. Making crime rate increase and further increasing tensions between racial groups and keeping segregation further present.

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