Gentrification In American Literature

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reconfigures a neighborhood’s racial and social landscape (Perez, 2004, p. 145)

The early literature on gentrification, focuses on the middle class (mainly white) and their role with gentrification and with the rehabilitation of the inner city (Wolf, 1975, Lipton, 1977; Clay, 1979; Berry, 1980; Kasarda, 1982 Legates & Hartman, 1986; Marcuse, 1986; Caufield, 1989; Hamnet, 1991; Ley, 1994; Butler, 1997; Ley, 1996). Within a neoliberal context, in a country with a racial legacy like the U.S., gentrification isn’t solely a class conquest, according to Powell & Spencer (2003) it is about whiteness as well (p. 441). The racial dimension of gentrification, although acknowledged within the literature (Gale and Spain, Taylor, 1992; Bostic & Martin,
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The literature on gentrification is now voluminous (Lees, Slater and Wyly, 2008; Brown-Saracino, 2010) but unfortunately in a book of 277 pages, only a select few of those within Gentrification are allocated to race (Lees, Slater, & Wyly, 2008). But even when race is acknowledged, it remains to be systematically explored within the current neoliberal system in which it is operating under (for exceptions see Cahill, 2006; Davila, 2004; Muñiz, 1998; Smith,1996; Perez, 2004).
When researching the racial component of gentrification, one will undoubtedly run into Taylor’s (1992) work on upper class African Americans gentrifying and displacing lower-income blacks in Harlem, New York. Her focus on race is important in that it widens the net of the work on gentrification, and provides people of color with a starring role in the literature, one they seldom receive. Slater (2006) argues that within the literature, “if
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Class differences, according to Muñiz (1998), can be and are overcome, at least within subordinate communities. The author argues that “racial and ethnic gentrifiers can be categorized as ‘marginal gentrifiers’”(p.44). Although affluent, their belonging to a subordinate group actually propels them into segregated neighborhoods, and in her work on neighborhood change, Rose (1984) proves this is not much of a choice, but a need, as we witnessed in Taylor’s (1992) work. Given that the exclusion of subordinate groups from the white world persists even when socioeconomic progress has been made, to live amongst their own ethnic or racial group, even if segregated, is a keenly felt need. This lends support to Rose’s (1984) assertion that need, not only choice or lifestyle, may be able to explain the spatial location of certain people (Rose, 1984). TRANSITION SENTENCE ABOUT DISPLACEMNET, SPECIFICALLY DOUBLE
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