Rose D, 1984, "Rethinking gentrification: beyond the uneven development of marxist urban theory" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2(1) 47 – 74
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Rethinking gentrification: beyond the uneven development of marxist urban theory
Received 10 July 1983; in revised form 17 September 1983
Abstract. In this paper, I make a critical assessment of the ways that issues relating to the 'gentrification' of inner-city neighbourhoods have been conceptualised, especially in North America, in both positivist and extant marxist work. I aim to rethink the processes generating 'gentrification' and 'gentrifiers' and our 'ways of seeing' the results of these processes. First, I address epistemological problems of neoclassical and marxist approaches to this subject. Second, I critically appraise the problématique of marxist work on gentrification, emphasising its lack of attention to the interrelationships of employment restructuring and changes in the reproduction of labour power. From this, I argue that gentrification is a 'chaotic concept' and that the processes and elements it comprises need to be thought through again. I begin this task by attempting to disaggregate the concept with empirical reference to North American metropolitan inner cities. I hypothesise that the upsurge of renovation activity by and for moderate-income households and those with so-called alternative life-styles is produced by the interaction of changes in production and reproduction. Further research is needed in this area. Finally, I explore the possibility that such 'marginal gentrifiers' and those they now displace may have similar needs that could be met by different kinds of neighbourhood revitalisation.
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