2010 volume 42(3) pages 524 – 544

Cite as:
Davidson M, 2010, "Love thy neighbour? Social mixing in London’s gentrification frontiers" Environment and Planning A 42(3) 524 – 544

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Love thy neighbour? Social mixing in London’s gentrification frontiers

Mark Davidson

Received 2 December 2008; in revised form 11 June 2009

Abstract. The issue of social mixing has recently moved to the forefront of gentrification debate. In part, this has been stimulated by neoliberal urban policies promoting ‘social mix’, research showing the inability of gentrified neighbourhoods to remain socially mixed and attempts to rethink the association between gentrification and displacement. This paper draws upon a mixed-methods study that examined levels of social mixing between gentrifying and incumbent communities in three neighbourhoods undergoing new-build gentrification in London, UK. Little evidence was found for substantial interactions between populations, and there were few shared perceptions of community. The author claims that the particular character of new-build gentrification has played an important role in generating this socially tectonic situation. Husserl’s concept of the lifeworld and Bourdieu’s thesis on the relative structuring of class identity are drawn upon to provide an explanatory framework.

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