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Global City Hypotheses and Social Polarization: Em-pirical Analysis of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou
Li Zhifeng, Fang Ying, Xiao Yang
Abstract Globalization can promote the flow of production factors across countries and regions. Developing “global cities” in China is conducive to enhancing China’s international competitiveness and participation in the world’s economic activities. Relevant theories reveal that globalization is of great significance to urban socio-spatial restructuring, and the social polarization or professionalization issues brought by “global cities” have been controversial. Based on the data from the statistical yearbooks of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, this study tries to test the global city hypothesis through the analysis on these three “global cities” in China. The study finds that Beijing and Shanghai have shown certain social polarization characteristics in the process of social differentiation, while Guangzhou has not. The results can provide scientific support for the formulation of urban management and household registration policies in China.
Keywords globalization; social polarization; global city hypothesis; Beijing; Shanghai; Guangzhou

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