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Spotlighting Mobile Creative Workers: Methodological Innovation towards a Comparative Understanding of the Creative Milieu of Shanghai and Seoul

Authors: Hyejin Yoon*, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Jane Zheng , University of Wisconsin - Madison
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography, Asia
Keywords: comparative urbanism, state, creative industries, workers, creative milieu
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This research aims to understand different social and urban conditions that grown and the nurture of creative industries in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, South Korea. Instead of directly comparing the two urban environments, this research focuses on Chinese workers in Seoul originally from Shanghai and Korean workers in Shanghai their hometown is Seoul. The research has two aspects of a theoretical framework; First, migration of highly skilled labor, and second, unpacking the creative milieu of two Asian cities conducting in-depth interviews of workers in two cities.
Three theoretical implications can be expected. First, this research contributes to expanding our knowledge on the literature of creative city, especially this paper will identify the key attributes of a creative milieu (on a city scale) that attract creative workers from a neighboring country in Asia at different geographic scales. Second, this research also investigates how the role of government at different geographic scales influences changes and processes of forming creative milieu of the cities. We particularly delineate the evolutionary process of the idea of “creative city” shaped by the inter-city flows of creative workers, ideas, knowledge, and capital. Third, this paper will also speak to the literature on Asian geography heightening the inter-city tie between Shanghai and Seoul. On top of the theoretical implications, focusing on policies for mobile creative workers across China and South Korea marks methodological innovation in comparative urbanism.

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