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Thinking Allowed - Middle Class enclaves and escapes

Updated Wednesday, 8th May 2013

This week features a special edition of Thinking Allowed recorded at the British Sociological Association's 2013 conference 

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Privatised neighbourhoods and lifestyle migration are a global phenomenon. Increasingly, it seems, middle class people with sufficient capital are choosing to 'opt out' of urban environments, or, at least, to shield themselves from their more 'dangerous' elements, namely the poorer residents.

Laurie Taylor talks to a range of academics who have researched the various manifestation of this desire for enclaves, escapes and the 'good life'. Can the broader social dynamics and conflicts of a society be understand by examining evolving form of housing and urban flight?

Maggy Lee talks about the the rapid expansion of residential tourism and 'lifestyle migration' between Hong Kong and mainland China, as the 'well off' buy up high end, gated communities.

Nick Osbaldeston looks at 'lifestyle migrants' in Australia who move to small, mainly coastal communities, representing a middle class 'takeover'.

And Ceren Yalcin explores the proliferation of 'sealed off' housing complexes in Istanbul. They're joined by Rowland Atkinson who has done extensive research into gentrification, gated communities and housing inequality.

Thinking Allowed is on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesdays at 4.00pm and repeated on Monday mornings at 12.15am. Full transmission details, and listen again links, can be found on




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