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Photo of Elton Chan by Emma Lord.

Elton Chan

Doctoral student

Photo of Elton Chan by Emma Lord.

Territorial Stigmatisation: The Case of Chungking Mansions


  • Elton Chan

Summary, in English

Based on his study on the American black ghetto and the French working-class banlieues, Loic Wacquant (2007) conceptualises territorial stigmatisation to capture how the negative perception of relegated urban territories affects their inhabitants and the public policies toward them. Most of the subsequent studies on the topic are done in similar Western post-Fordist and post-colonial settings, and despite Wacquant’s emphasis on national contexts, his concept of territorial stigmatisation is “in the process of being universalised” (Jensen and Christensen, 2012: 89). Based on empirical research, this paper aims to investigate the transferability of the concept beyond its Western origins by examining the formation and the consequences of territorial stigmatisation in Chungking Mansions, a unique case study that is both specific to the local Hong Kong context and influenced by various global processes. Analysis of media representations and qualitative interviews with various stakeholders have suggested that the strong stigma attached to Chungking Mansions is not only the result of its racial and class formation, but also the poor condition of the building, various illegal and criminal activities taking place inside, as well as the extreme events that had happened before. The study has shown that different inhabitants and businesses in Chungking Mansions are affected by territorial stigmatisation differently, depending on their relations with the city as well as the global circuit. Furthermore, through its interplay with other urban processes, territorial stigmatisation also has a significant impact on both the economic structure and the spatial organisation of Chungking Mansions. To conclude, this paper argues that the future of Chungking Mansions is largely dependent on how the territorial stigma and its consequences are being managed by the different stakeholders associated with the building.

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Sociology

Conference name

ISA RC43 2017 Conference

Conference date

2017-06-18 - 2017-06-21

Conference place

Hong Kong