- Assessment of the various effects of gated communities on social interactions in Middle East.
- Analysis of how these effects promote inequalities on the communities in the Middle East.
- Overview of the discussion.
One thing that is commonly rebuked and avoided in every civilized society is the issue of segregation or discrimination of some people for whatever reasons. Societies tend to strictly go against this. In the Middle East, the Islam doctrines are strongly adhered to. However, there have been developments in the region where the issue of gated communities has come up. The concern is whether the gated communities have an effect on the social inequalities in the region. This essay seeks to assert the fact that the gated communities have a contribution in the social inequalities in the region.
The pro-gated community argument, however, has it that the gated community is just an aspect of development. According to Falag (Par. 2), the gated communities come about as a result of the development of private parcels of land. Of course, the people have to fence their property and restrict entry. However, this is not all true. As a matter of fact, gated communities propagate social inequalities. According to Nelson (Para 1), the modern day gated communities are an imitation of the class walls that existed in the past. These walls were supposed to keep the people from the lower classes out of the premises. These could have been characterized by walls with broken glass lined on the top so as to make sure that those from the low class would not get in. the same happens in the modern day, only that the modern walls are characterized by electric fences, guards and the “Private” signs. All these contribute to the creation of the modern gated communities.
The first argument is that the gated communities propagate the social class divisions in the Middle East. According to Farag (Para 5), the situation has been aggravated by the continuous privatization of the cities. As such, there has been the development of the private and the public premises or lands. The private lands are fenced and separated from the private. Of course, the entrance to these regions is prohibited. When the cities are privatized, it implies that some regions which used to be open to the people get locked out. Glasze and Alkhayyal (Para 1) indicate that there has been the rise in the number of gated communities in some major cities in the Middle East such as Riyadh and Lebanon. Of course, this has led to the spatial separation of social groups. Those higher up on the social ladder get to live inside the gates while those lower on the scale have to make do with the life at the bottom of the ladder. Of course, there are various negative social effects associated with such a development. Below is a discussion which asserts the fact that the rise of the gated communities has a negative effect on the social set up in the Middle East.
Closely tied to social disintegration is the issue of economical segregation where the gap between the rich and the poor is widened. The gated communities create a kind of situation where some people are seen to be higher up in the ladder while others are not. Grant and Mittelsteadt (1) have it that when such people fence up their lands and live on the other side, they tend to have a different social life with those outside. They have privileges which prevent them from interacting with the poor who are on the other side of the fence. Furthermore, the poor cannot be allowed to get in. As such, a kind of social castes is created where the gap between the haves and the have-nots is clearly visible. The rich live by themselves and the poor have to live outside. Definitely, this creates a social disintegration that can be quiet hard to bridge. The people living in the fortified regions also tend to be quite privileged as compared to the rest. As Blandy et al (3) put it; the gated communities tend to be quite intimidating to the other people in the society. They have all that one can need in life; a good life, houses, luxuries and all the good things they might admire. On the outside, the poor do not even have much. At times, they might even have no basic needs. In a bid to protect their property and their interests, the gated communities end up employing all the measure in making sure that the poor do not get in. definitely, this leads to the social inequalities.
The third way in which the gated communities contribute to social inequality is the negative manner in which it psychologically affects the individuals, especially those locked out. As Blandy et al (13) has it, those prohibited from entering the gated areas tend to harbor negative attitudes towards the dwellers of the gated regions. This creates a kind of social disintegration where the people from the different social classes tend to look at each other from a rival point of view. This comes about due to the development of the psychological aspect that the gated communities are proud, while the dwellers of the gated regions believe that the rest of the population is bent on bringing them down. This works against the socialization process.
In conclusion, the essay above has looked at the gated communities and how they affect the social equalities in the Middle East. Though the Middle East is a region that has strong social roots borrowed from the Islamic culture, the aspect of gated communities has slowly crept in. Evidence has been given to prove that the gated communities propagate social inequalities. The factors supporting this include lack social disintegration, economic differences and psychological effects. These are as explained above. The problems can be avoided by having forums which allow for constructive interactions between the two groups of people so as to reduce the social rivalry.
Blandy, Sarah et al. “Gated Communities: A Systematic Review of the Research Evidence.” University of Glasgow, n.d. Web. 10th Dec. 2012,
Farag, Talaat I. “City-Zens of the Middle East: Human Rights in the Urban Metropolis (Para II).” The Ambassadors Online Magazine, 13.28: 2010. Web. 10th Dec. 2012,
Glasze, Georg, & Alkhayyal, Abdallah. “Gated Housing Estates in the Arab World: Case Studies in Lebanon and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.” Environment and Planning, 26: 3211-336 (2002). Web, 10th Dec. 2012,
Grant, Jill, & Mittelsteadt, Lindsey. “Types of Gated Communities.” Environment and Planning, 31: 913-930 (2004). Web. 10th Dec. 2012,
Nelson, Michael. “Gated Communities: Class Walls.” History Today, 61.11; 2011. Web. 10th Dec. 2012,