The Politics of Race in the Gentrification Process / Stream E – Contested cities

Organizer: Wouter van Gent (Universiteit van Amsterdam, NL); Jacob Boersema (Rutgers University, USA)


This session welcomes studies that contribute to the empirical understanding of the relationship between gentrification and race. Gentrification is traditionally defined as a class-based process. However, in most countries there is a strong relationship between race and class–gentrification is almost always racialized. Depending on context, social scientists confront this relationship in different ways. For instance, the study of gentrification in the U.S. predominately documents low-income black neighborhoods experiencing the in-movement of middle-class whites. On the other hand, in Europe gentrification studies de-emphasize racial aspects of gentrification, despite the dominant empirical focus on immigrant neighborhoods that are experiencing an influx of middle-class whites. Whereas American understanding of gentrification seems to be overly-racialized, European understanding seems to be under-racialized.

This panel calls for empirical studies from different parts of the world (e.g. U.S., Latin America, South Africa, Europe, East Asia) that analyze the relationship between urban gentrification and race (or ethnicity), and its consequences. It aims to identify, contextualize, and understand the politics of race in the gentrification process and how the city is contested. What are the roles of integration policies, market forces, state interventions, and practices of everyday life in the racialization of the gentrification process? We particularly welcome comparative studies between different geographical contexts, or between different racial gentrification processes.

E11: The Politics of Race in the Gentrification Process

Chairs: Wouter van Gent (Universiteit van Amsterdam) Jacob Boersema (Rutgers University)


Ashley Brown Burns
Like the “Others” or “Just Like Us”: Intra-racial Class Tension in a Gentrifying Neighborhood

Bahar Sakizlioglu
A Comparative Analysis of Politics of Ethnicity in the State-led Gentrification Processes: The Cases of Amsterdam and Istanbul

Christine Barwick
“I could punch them in the face”: Turkish-Germans’ reactions towards gentrification in Berlin’s immigrant neighborhoods

Zaire Dinzey-Flores
In-Visible Race: White-Out, Original Details, and Desirable Homes in Gentrifying Brooklyn

Melissa Valle
If These Walls Could Talk: Community, conflict, and urban change in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Distributed papers:

Aaron Niznik
Gentrification in Korea Town, Boston

Lidia Manzo
Erotic-Park Slope The Everyday Racialization of Sexualized Interactions in (super)Gentrified Brooklyn

Valerie Stahl
“It’s Not About Black or White, it’s About Green”: Race, Gentrification and Crime in a Brooklyn Neighborhood

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