Annual RC21 Conference 2011

The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings
Amsterdam (The Netherlands), July 7-9 2011

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research – Urban Studies
University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands

2. Social Consequences of Gentrification

The international literature about gentrification gives different perceptions of both the nature and the social consequences of this phenomenon. First, there is the distinction between market-led and government-led gentrification, also referred to as “social restructuring”. The former is meant to be typical for gentrification in the USA, the latter for gentrification in Europe. A similar distinction is often made about the social consequence of gentrification. Gentrification “American style” is said to lead to mass displacement of the original residents of the gentrified urban districts whereas gentrification (or social restructuring). “European style” is said to lead to lesser (or less significant) displacement (cf. Hamnett 2003). Second, there are divergent portrayals of the social consequences of gentrification in the USA and in Europe. Whereas some European urban sociologists emphasize the detrimental consequences of gentrification for the original residents of gentrified districts (cf. Atkinson 2002; Slater 2006), some American observers show a far more positive picture of the social consequences of gentrification (Freeman 2006).

This panel discusses what either market-led or policy-led gentrification means for the original residents of the districts affected by it. Among the questions that the panel raises are:

  • What demographic changes do such districts undergo?
  • How do resident perceive and value the change in their neighborhood (for instance in terms of safety and “livability” of the district)?
  • How is their sense of place-attachment and ‘home feeling’ affected?
  • What does gentrification mean for their social networks?

Erik Snel, Department of Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Email:

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21 December 2011
Deadline for abstract submission

10 January 2011
Notification of selected abstracts

1 March 2011
Registration open

15 May 2011
Deadline for early bird registration and for (some) hotel options

15 May 2011
Deadline for paper submission

15 June 2011
Papers online

7-9 July 2011