Urban Poverty and the Environment: <i>Social Capital and State-Community Synergy in Seoul and Bangkok</i>

Mike Douglass, Orathai Ard-Am and Ik Ki Kim

in Livable Cities?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520230248
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935976 | DOI:
Urban Poverty and the Environment: Social Capital and State-Community Synergy in Seoul and Bangkok

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This chapter contrasts the strategies used to improve environmental conditions in two low-income communities in two different urban contexts: the Wolgoksa-dong squatter community in Seoul, Korea, and the Wat Chonglom slum community in Bangkok, Thailand. In each case, the analysis moves from the level of the household and gender relations, through the level of community organization and leadership, to the linkages and conflicts that each community has to translocal organizations and the state. The comparisons suggest that the Wat Chonglom community was much better positioned than Wolgoksa-dong — and the vast majority of other slum communities in Bangkok — to expand its social capital and use it in the pursuit of livability. Both communities have shown, over the past decades, an admirable vitality and resilience in the face of highly adverse political and economic forces.

Keywords: Wolgoksa-dong; Wat Chonglom; Seoul; Bangkok; household; gender relations; community organization; social capital; environmental conditions; state-community synergy

Chapter.  13140 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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