The impossibility of gentrification and social mixing

Mark Davidson

in Mixed Communities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424938
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305538 | DOI:
The impossibility of gentrification and social mixing

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Whereas gentrification once represented an unjust process of social cleansing, it is now widely viewed in policy circles as a progressive social-policy tool. Bringing the middle classes into ‘socially excluded’ areas is seen as a way in which the poor and anti-social can be incorporated into a tolerant and prosperous society. This chapter examines how these notions and their political logics have been constituted in London, in the UK. Drawing on in-depth research in a number of Thames riverside areas of new-build gentrification, it offers insight into how these policy prescriptions have impacted on different neighbourhoods. It is argued that the neighbourhood-based social relations emerging in affected areas show a lack of mixing and therefore signal an important social policy failure; but also that mounting urban changes are simultaneously generating worrying displacement pressures.

Keywords: social cleansing; gentrification; socially excluded areas; London; neighbourhoods

Chapter.  6673 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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