The Development of Private Education Cluster in Gangnam: How has Daechi-dong become the center of private education in South Korea?

Authors: Hanbyul Shim*, Seoul National University
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia, Cultural Geography
Keywords: middle class, neighborhood, private education industry, Gangnam, cluster
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Neighborhood developments for middle class families in Korea are featured with the apartment complex especially paired by agglomerated private education institutes called 'hagwon', which is quite stylized after Gangnam. The combination works on the middle class desire since they have witnessed by the case of Gangnam-style development ("Gangnam-ization") that it fulfills their essential aspirations for 1) the ownership of interest-increasing asset and 2) the secured carrier for the reproduction of their class status in their offspring. Focusing on the latter, this study examines a classic case, Daechi-dong in Gangnam, that proves their ideal neighborhood model quite successful. The private institutes within the vicinity of the apartment complexes discipline high school students to win intense competition for the entrance to top tier universities in Seoul, and they concentrate as much as being developed to a robust education industry cluster. The analysis shows the ways in which the private education institutes have been geographically concentrated, and how the industry has been developed and organized on the basis of these clusters. More specifically, it will explore how the private education businesses have been working to be acknowledged as the "center of Korean private education". Also, it will look at the local particularities of Daechi-dong in terms of population geography and landscape, which have been shaped under the influence of the massive consumption of private education businesses.

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