Click here to download

Social segregation in Singapore. Case of the construction guest workers
Journal Title: TERRITORIO 
Author/s: Yanin Chivakidakarn 
Year:  2013 Issue: 65 Language: Italian 
Pages:  8 Pg. 52-59 FullText PDF:  307 KB
DOI:  10.3280/TR2013-065007
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 

Singapore is one of the few global cities in the world with no informal settlements. Despite this, there is a clear presence of socially segregated areas, related in particular to the practices of unskilled migrant communities who move to an urban environment to provide services for the big city. The paper analyses the reasons and nature of the ‘geographies of inequality’, by using the keys to interpretation proposed by Wacquant on the relationship between forms of social segregation and globalisation. The paper also takes a look at polices. The phenomenon may in fact be understood as part of a government strategy towards these recently migrated poor groups in the population in which the controlled access dimension seems designed to create a ‘temporary two tier social structure’ which does not encourage integration.
Keywords: Inequality; urban segregation; integration

  1. Bca Academy, 2009, Introductory English for Construction Workers (; consulted April 14, 2011).
  2. Chan A., 2011, Hired on Sufferance – China’s Migrant Workers in Singapore, Research report, China Labour Bulletine.
  3. Chia J., 2007, Foreign Workers Causing Social Problem in Singapore (; consulted March 20, 2011.
  4. Chok S., 2009, Toc Special Feature: Is Singapore really slum-free? (; consulted: February 10, 2011).
  5. Chuan T.Y., 2012, 300,000 Unskilled Workers will get to Work LongerHere (; consulted March 20, 2011).
  6. Cnn-Go, 2012, «Singapore Migrant Workers Living in Slums», The StraitsTimes, published on April 2. Department of Statistics Singapore, 2011, Key Indicators (; consulted February 10, 2011).
  7. Government of Singapore, 2007, EnterpriseOne – Bca Sets New Rulesfor Foreign Workers Housing (; consulted April 14, 2011).
  8. Hamnett C., 2001, «Social Segregation and Social Polarization», in Paddison A. (ed.), Handbook of Urban Studies, Sage Publication, London, pp. 162-176,, DOI: 10.4135/9781848608375.n10
  9. Human Rights Watch, 2006, Building Towers, Cheating Workers, Human Rights Watch Plublication, New York.
  10. Kanna A., 2006, Dubai in a Jagged World, Middle East Research and Information Project (
  11. Ministry of Manpower, 2011, Employment Situation in Fourth Quarter 2010 (; consulted February 24, 2011).
  12. Ofori G., 1996, Foreign Construction Workers in Singapore, International Labor Office, Geneva.
  13. Ofori G. and Debrah Y.A., 1998, «Flexible Management of Workers: Review of Employment Practices in the Construction Industry in Singapore,
  14. Construction Management and Economics, vol. 16, n. 4, pp. 397-408,, DOI: 10.1080/014461998372187
  15. Olds K. and Yeung H., 2004, «Pathways to Global City Formation: A View from the Developmental City-state of Singapore», Review of International Political Economy, vol. 11, pp. 489-521,, DOI: 10.1080/0969229042000252873
  16. Sassen S., 2000, Cities in a World Economy, Pine Forge press, Thousand Oaks.
  17. Tan, R., 2008, Singapore Central: Foreign Workers in Singapore: Integrating or Segregating Them (; consulted March 20, 2011).
  18. The Straits Times, 2008, Why Tension over Foreign Workers will Continue (; consulted February 10, 2011).
  19. United Nations Human Settlement Programs, 2008, State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009 – Harmonious Cities, Earthscan, London.
  20. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 2008, Master Plan 2008 (; consulted March 23, 2011).
  21. U.S. Geological Survey, 2007, Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change: Singapore (; consulted February 10, 2011).
  22. Wacquant L., 2008, Logics of Urban Polarization from Below, ‘Urban Outcasts’, Polity Press, London.

Yanin Chivakidakarn, in "TERRITORIO" 65/2013, pp. 52-59, DOI:10.3280/TR2013-065007


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content