Our house, in the middle of our street

Asan apartments.jpgLife in a concrete box might be an alternative title. But, for now Madness will have to do.  Literally looking on people are living their lives away from work. A woman undressing, two people eating dinner, someone watching TV.  None of that can be seen in the night shot, where, with a tripod I was literally shooting in the dark. So much for one-liners. But I did spy a taped over window from a time last year when a big storm blew through. The advisory was to tape up your windows, a cyclonic Armageddon is neigh!  No such luck. No broken windows, no fallen trees, just a lot of leaves on the ground. Life goes on in the concrete box.

I couldn’t resist using the segment the Madness played on The Young ones, it’s a classic bit of Brit comedy.

9 Responses

  1. Something I think about (not a lot I must admit!)…What is the effect (if any) on national populations of the difference between living in flats/units and living in detached houses, especially for families?

    The flight to the suburbs started in the UK, London, (where else?!) as early as the 1800s with places like Ealing and others which were farmland being given over to quarter acre blocks. Thence this idea in town planning was exported to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

    The idea being that the new homeowners would be more individualist and family-oriented (and more exhausted after mowing their lawns on the weekend and home repairs!, hence uninterested in political activism) than those families back in the inner-city old housing stock.

    But Japanese families live in apartments like the above. Are they more conformist than American ones in the surburbs? Probably yes. And Koreans too. But French and Italian families live in apartments and I don’t think they are.

    Conformism versus individuality according to housing type. The concrete block apartment v the suburban house? I suppose some architecture or sociologist academic has written on the question.

    • What you’re referring to is the meta background a child or individual grows up in. Does the space where the family lives affect the interaction and so mold the person? I think not, but more of the affect of society itself where family serves as a living example of societal values.

      It is for sure that a child would have a richer experience with living on a larger property. The more you play, the more likely you are to graze a knee for example.

      I do think that living inside of a smaller living space makes it more difficult for someone to find personal space if the going gets tough.

  2. I think you’re right…was reading about the banlieus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banlieue

    Can’t see much difference really between the apartment blocks of French cities and those of Korean cities, both of them outside the CBD. So why don’t Korean male youths run around in the summer torching cars because their living conditions are so cramped and bleak? Who the youths are in the banlieus might provide an answer.

    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21572248-young-diverse-and-unemployed-forgotten-banlieues

    So, yeah, it can’t be the housing block in and of itself is a cause of conformity or otherwise if you contrast the French and Korean examples.

    • I’m going to cite that the differences in culture. But I must say that those Arabs living in that area of Paris are really being prejudiced against, hence the riots in 2004.

      As for random violence in Korea, I tend to think it comes from non-conformists within the society. Given a certain situation, they’ll reveal themselves in an unfortunate way. I can cite the teenager that beat a father to death, a Chinese-Korean man that chopped up his murder victim, but the latest murder comes from a group of teenagers that thumped a middle schooler inside of an underground carpark over a girl.

      Teenagers aside, it’s the supposed outsiders in the resident society that cause the problems. Or, either that it’s the society’s inability to accept outsides?

  3. Not sure that individual murders present any reliable conclusion on crime levels/social alienation. The 3 examples of a family murder, a serial killer, and a very rare school murder (first since the Sunchang one?) i.e. they’re atypical except for the family murder and that’s unusual too (son-father). Murder rate S.Korea v murder rate Johannesberg, I think I could bet on which is lower.
    As for the outsiders, yeah, not with the murder rate but rather the civic disturbances like the French North Africans in the banlieus. 25% plus youth unemployment. Would S.Korean youth start tearing up the apartus if it was that rate? I doubt it but they might! And would the concrete block style make it more likely (going back to the original qn!)?

    • In the case of Koreans, I’d like to state that their family life and their cultural upbringing (read: values and beliefs systems) would be major contributing factors. Environmental factors such as where they lived might play a part in influencing what they might do with their leisure time. With the advent of computer games, another question arises; what effect does computer games have on the values and beliefs systems of contemporary youth?

  4. Computer games, that may well help the banlieus kids. Are they even into world of warcraft, world of, whatever the Korean adolescent 15 year olds play? “Teacher, you’re dead!” as one of the students said after he got me on one of these Doom style shooter simulations in Sunchang.

    “Good one!”, he responded when despite lack of keyboard skills I got him later in this running/shooting marketed platform.

    I’m not sure on this. First Google entry says a parental moderated approach should be taken, http://www.pamf.org/parenting-teens/general/media-web/videogames.html

    whether values and belief systems are showing up, do banlieus youth even bother playing, making, watching computer games? I doubt it.

  5. BBC program on Aus tv now, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jt9zh

    It uses a Victorian London mappist Booth’s charting of London to tell what happened re housing. Different results which can’t be predicted. Wouldn’t work in Korea!

    • It might work, but it’d have to be tested over selected areas. Areas which show high turnover of buildings are now good. But the older areas might reveal how long one family has lived in that home.

      I tend to think that families, unlike that in the BBC programme are less transient and stay longer in one area.

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