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DIVERSE IMAGERIES OF GENTRIFICATION: EVIDENCE FROM NEWSPAPER COVERAGE IN SEVEN U.S. CITIES, 1986–2006

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ABSTRACT:  This study indicates that newspaper coverage of gentrification is far more diverse than the gentrification literature predicts. Our analysis of 4,445 articles published between 1986 and 2006 in nine papers in seven U.S. cities with a population of one million or greater suggests that newspaper frames of gentrification range from those that are wholly supportive of gentrification to those that are strictly critical. Papers also regularly publish accounts of gentrification that reference both its perceived “costs” and “benefits.” We find that coverage changes over time and that newspaper frames vary in relation to depictions of place characteristics, gentrifiers, and long‐timers. As a result, this paper addresses questions in the gentrification literature about the content and tone of representations of gentrification, speaks to urban studies scholarship on culture's role in urban change processes, and reveals the mutability of the meaning and use of the term “gentrification.” Finally, it serves as a call for further studies of representations of gentrification, as well as future analyses of their influence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Boston University 2: Loyola University Chicago

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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