«Give me a break! I'€™m from Brooklyn, we're not fancy». Institutions, Housing and Lifestyles in Super-gentrification process. A Field and Historical research in Park Slope, New York City

Manzo, Lidia Katia Consiglia (2014) «Give me a break! I'€™m from Brooklyn, we're not fancy». Institutions, Housing and Lifestyles in Super-gentrification process. A Field and Historical research in Park Slope, New York City. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Abstract

In an attempt to make concrete linkages between neighborhood change and the boundary-making paradigm, this field and historical study of a New York City'€™s neighborhood, addresses the influences of displacement, housing- abandonment and resettlement in Super-gentrification processes on 1) the types of institutions that emerged to represent different class interests; 2) the types of social groups that came to inhabit the neighborhood; 3) the pattern of that evolution over time; 4) the particular goals, values, and morals that such community organizations evolved; and 5) the social status displays carried out in cultured consumption in housing and leisure. Employing a multi-methodological and theoretical approach, the study follows the evolution and development of neighborhood change over forty years through the analysis of social groups and their community organizations (looking at archival documents for the past and by in-depth interviews, shadowing and ethnographic observation for the present time), census data analysis, archival/documental research, and visual data. Community organizations emerged, on the one hand, to represent different class interests - improvement, mandated, ideological -€“ and to emphasize liberal progressive values, on the other. This emergence followed historical and geographical patterns of accelerating gentrification. The study argues that four waves of gentrification showed up across the time and tended to concentrate in four different neighborhood areas, where the incoming groups formed parallel boundary shifts. Accordingly, I found that different waves of gentrification were associated with the emergence of different types of Gentrifiers over time, and this had to do with the changing role of post-industrial cities within the American economy, the processes of government/local institution interventions in the neighborhood housing market, the changes in class interests, morals and ideologies, and the increased aestheticized re-scriptings of neighborhood housing choices and lifestyles. Such aesthetic appreciation operated for gentrifiers as a visible marker of social status. As residential displacement, the disappearance of "old"€ local stores, and their replacement of upscale shops entailed forms of social inequality that enhanced the lifestyle of new waves of gentrifiers (raising housing values and rents) while, at the same time, forced out morally (by alienation) or practically (by displacement) long-term residents, who helped produce the neighborhood socio-cultural fabric. Diversity and aesthetic appeal seemed to underlie the motives of wealthier, well-educated newcomers to move into the neighborhood. Interestingly, those have not been changing throughout the different waves of gentrifiers who came to inhabit the community in the last 40 years. However - during the process of Super-gentrification -€“ I found that the more they populate the neighborhood, the more it becomes homogenized and less richly diverse, still quite progressive but in a different way. I would say, in a privileged progressive way. Despite the fact that the moral order of these institutions has always been the one of community solidarity, culture, education, and growth, I observed at the same time the playing out of the most common paradox of gentrifiers. The desire of diversity and the producing of difference. This is, I believe, the central problem of gentrification: the balance between, or the combination of, pleasure and power. Balancing pleasure and power is a social, political, and moral problem. It brings together many of the concerns about gentrification, the desire for (and the loss of) diversity, and expresses the central thesis of this study.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Sociology and Social Research (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
PhD Cycle:25
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/08 SOCIOLOGIA DEI PROCESSI CULTURALI E COMUNICATIVI
Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/20 TECNICA E PIANIFICAZIONE URBANISTICA
Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/08 ANTROPOLOGIA
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/07 SOCIOLOGIA GENERALE
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/10 SOCIOLOGIA DELL'AMBIENTE E DEL TERRITORIO
Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/16 ARCHITETTURA DEGLI INTERNI E ALLESTIMENTO
Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/21 URBANISTICA
Uncontrolled Keywords:Urban Studies; Gentification; Super-­Gentrification; Corporatization of Gentrification; Displacement; Yuppies; Housing Studies; Home Production; Cultural membership and group classifications; Boundary Making; Socio-­cultural Boundaries; Community Studies; Community Institutions; Global Cities; Global Gentrification; Diversity; Urban Lifestyles; Urban Design; Place Making; Class and Aesthetics; Urban Authenticity; Street Character; Multi-method approach; Longitudinal Case Study; Ethnography; Urban Ethnography; Sporting Ethnography; Co-performance in Field research; Visual Analysis; New York; Brooklyn; Park Slope
Additional Information:This doctoral project was developed through the affiliation with CUNY University in New York, USA.
Repository Staff approval on:13 May 2014 17:07

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