Polarization and Gated Communities in Egypt

Having read “Power, Polarization and Tech” , it reminded me of how the gated communities companies do use the concept of polarization in marketing for their compounds. They have attempted to spread the idea that people who are alike according to some standards -that are set by the society itself- should get gathered away from the “others” who do not resemble them. An example of using polarization in marketing for gated communities in Cairo is a series of ads made by Mountain View. This series of ads highlights the idea that everyday-interaction with the so-called ordinary people is something annoying and that people should avoid it whenever they can. The first attached ad shows an extreme image of interaction between the lady and her neighbors and on the other side it plays on the “privacy” that she is going to enjoy if she moves to the compound.




Same idea is applied in the second ad; ‘this crowded with too many annoying people place is not the right one for your children, move to Mountain View where your children could be with whom who are similar to them’.

I personally feel sometimes that people who live in gated communities are a bit confined. They miss a lot of experience that they could learn just from interacting with people, ordinary people, situations that are not likely to happen in a gated community!

Moreover, some social values are lost while people are moving to gated communities, a very trivial example is a cool tradition that used to exist in the Egyptian society and is about to fade is sharing food between the neighbors usually in the occasions especially during Ramadan and the feasts. This tradition used to bring people together and strengthen their relationships although being very simple. And this tradition almost does not exist in gated communities since people might think it is a low-class activity and that a dinner invitation would be a more appropriate way of approaching their neighbors since it ‘looks better’, in case they felt the need of such a relationship. People in gated communities are far from each other or at least are not close to each other as people who do not.

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