Geographical review of Japan, Series B.
Online ISSN : 2185-1700
Print ISSN : 0289-6001
ISSN-L : 0289-6001
The Residential Segregation of Chinese Dialect Groups in Singapore:
with Focus on the Period before cae 1970
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1986 Volume 59 Issue 2 Pages 83-102


This paper aims to clarify the residential segregation patterns of Chinese dialect groups in Singapore, and to examine the main factors contributing to the formation of residential segregation.
In Singapore, population statistics data necessary to grasp residential segregation patterns of the Chinese dialect groups are not available. Therefore, the distribution of Chinese temples, associ-ations, and their members are considered important indexes reflecting residential segregation pat-terns of the Chinese dialect groups. By making distribution maps of the temples, associations and their members for each period, the author identifies the changing residential segregation patterns.
Residential segregation patterns of Chinese dialect groups in the south bank district differed from those of the north bank district. The Singapore River separated the two districts. The three major dialect groups, the Hokkiens, Teochews and Cantonese, segregated themselves in three different areas along the south bank. On the other hand, minor dialect groups such as the Hainanese, Foochows, Henghuas, and so on, segregated themselves with the major dialect groups in mosaic fashion in the north bank district.
Factors in the formation of the residential segregation of Chinese dialect groups are considered on the basis of an analysis of the residential segregation patterns involved. The chains of territorial relation involved in the process of Chinese immigration can be regarded as factors in promoting the residential segregation of Chinese dialect groups. Internal factors in the formation of the residential segregation can be found inside the Chinese dialect groups. They expected mutual help inside their society, and wanted to maintain their traditional culture including such aspects as language, religion and eating customs. As a result, they came to form their own urban villages. It was found that the Chinese dialect groups clearly had a tendency to specialize in and dominate certain trades. This promoted area concentration of a specific dialect group.

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