, Volume 66, Issue 1-2, pp 83-88
Date: 27 Sep 2006

Segregation and seclusion: the case of compounds for western expatriates in Saudi Arabia

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In discussions on the “fragmented city” and the boom of private and guarded neighbourhoods, several authors have stressed the importance of a growing differentiation of lifestyles and “cultural” orientations for this trend. The compounds for western foreigners in Saudi Arabia are explicitly based on the idea of a spatial seclusion of social groups with different “cultural” backgrounds. This study presents an overview of the development of these western enclaves. Narrative interviews with former expatriates provide insights into their daily life, their social relations within the compound, and to the Saudi Arabia behind the gates.