Gentrification as global habitat: a process of class formation or corporate creation?

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Abstract:

The relationship between gentrification and globalisation has recently become a significant concern for gentrification scholars. This has involved developing an understanding of how gentrification has become a place-based strategy of class (re)formation during an era in which globalisation has changed sociological structures and challenged previously established indicators of social distinction. This paper offers an alternative reading of the relationship between gentrification and globalisation through examining the results of a mixed method research project which looked at new-build gentrification along the River Thames, London, UK. This research finds gentrification not to be distinguished by the gentrifer-performed practice of habitus within a ‘global context’. Rather, the responsibility for gentrification, and the relationship between globalisation and gentrification, is found to originate with capital actors working within the context of a neoliberal global city. In order to critically conceptualise this form of gentrification, and understand the role of globalisation within the process, the urban theory of Lefebvre is drawn upon.

Keywords: gentrification; globalisation; habitat; habitus; neighbourhood; urban development

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2007.00269.x

Affiliations: Dartmouth College, 6017 Fairchild, Hanover, NH 03755, USA, Email: mark.a.davidson@dartmouth.edu

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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