Conflict Group C: Reflection on Interdisciplinary methods and Team Work

1- How did we use interdisciplinary approaches?

For our presentation on gentrification in Dalston and Brixton, we used different interdisciplinary approaches in order to incorporate each member’s field of studies and ideas into the project.  We decided to use Tatjana’s Fanny Honegger’s major (Film studies) as a mean to convey our ideas to the jury. We chose to present our project through the form of a short film integrating pictures, quotes, interviews, lyrics and other resources we used throughout our research. This form of presenting will enable us to save time in order to cover the complex and inclusive topic of gentrification. We also believe a filmed presentation will enable us to present our ideas in an effective and focused manner, therefore gathering the diverse interdisciplinary approaches together in a clear way. The presentation through a film is also a creative approach to the topic that we thought would be entertaining and original. We used photography to picture the areas we cover in our presentation, showing the development of Dalston and Brixton and how those spaces were affected by gentrification by juxtaposing recent photos to ancient ones taken before the gentrification process was put into effect. Through the analysis of historical events including the protests against gentrification in Brixton for example, the research on the historical background of the districts we cover, and interpretations of development and their effects on inhabitants as well as spaces, Charlotte Dean contributed to the interdisciplinary nature of our project through the application of methods used in her major: History. Jake Allister Glasmacher’s field of studies, politics, informed our decision to use a neutral approach to the topic. We used methods and approaches common in today’s politics, including adopting a neutral stance in face of a complex and polemical topic, by approaching people affected by gentrification’s effects while considering their potential political opinions and personal sensitivities. Our questions evidence this neutral stance and respect for the interviewees’ different political sensitivities. We had to put aside our political opinions in order to cover the topic of gentrification in an effective and clear manner. Through the inclusion of artistic resources in the form of Hip-Hop lyrics, we also used Josephine Coustet’s field of studies, English. By analyzing and close-reading extracts of the different Hip-Hop genres common in Dalston and Brixton (Grime and Drill respectively), we attempted to present youth’s reaction to social, economic and political changes at play in their areas, their reaction to the social situation to which they are subjects on a daily basis, and their potential reaction to gentrification. The use of Hip-Hop lyrics and associated research also permitted us to question the importance of the gentrification process in artistic developments and the artists’ social situation. Other interdisciplinary approaches outside our majors were critical for researching our project. We believe sociological methods permitted us to understand the social forces at play behind the gentrification process. Immigration, social classes and demographic research centered on Dalston and Brixton were topics we had to research in order to understand how gentrification affected negatively certain populations, while others profited from it. Communication methods enabled us to devise our questionnaires, chose how to approach interviewees, informed our journalistic research and choice of presentation form.

2- -Opportunities and how we took advantage of them:

-Working as a team with interdisciplinary methods offered us numerous opportunities we availed ourselves of.

-We understood the importance of interdisciplinarity thank to other team member contribution to the project. We involved ourselves in topics that we do not necessarily cover in our major, including politics, history and film studies. We used art in our project and understood its implication in social, economic and political changes. Interdisciplinarity permitted us to approach our topic in a creative manner, integrating multiple resources from music, photography to interviews. Team work required a lot of organization and research, which turned out to be an entertaining experience for all members.

-The topic of gentrification also permitted us to know and study areas of London with more depth. We had to visit the areas we covered and meet their inhabitants, therefore extending our knowledge of the city. Getting into contact with people affected by gentrification also enabled us to become aware of the practical effects of political, social and economic measures. We also learned how to approach complex and polemical topics while considering differing views than ours. Researching the topic of gentrification also gave us awareness of the diverse impacts of immigration in London, and our own roles as potential gentrifiers.

-The research we undertook for the completion of our project entailed meeting with people concerned by gentrification. From artists to inhabitants, the opportunities we derived from meeting with people were tremendous. Josephine Coustet contacted one of her favorite Hip-Hop band, Foreign Beggars, through social media and they accepted to answer questions in a meeting. This meeting would never have been possible outside the context of our presentation and team work. Tatjana Honegger also contacted a member of the Brixton Windmill. Such interviews will be an advantage for our future careers as it transmitted us communication and journalistic skills.

 3- -Challenges and how we coped with them:

– Researching for our presentation and working as a team confronted us with numerous challenges we had to cope with.

-Working in a group in which team members came from a diversity of departments enabled each of us to learn how to cope with dilemmas relating to the integration of disparate ideas and methods in our project. Mingling those interdisciplinary approaches together was difficult to the extent that the link between them was not always blatant to us. Through discussion during our meetings, sharing notes online and meeting outside the scheduled meeting hours, we managed to associate different ideas together in order to harmonize our very disparate researches. We had to brainstorm how to clearly associate those approaches to make an intelligible argument and presentation. Structuring our research came to be a challenge we believe we coped effectively with. The solution of a film presentation would enable us to mingle all the different approaches together by gathering pictures, quotes and music for example. We also managed to avoid challenges common in team work. We found that we did not argue on how we would proceed in our project, and reached agreement easily thank to clear communication. We managed to avoid dissention by dividing tasks according to what interested us the most. One of the biggest challenge related to team work and interdisciplinarity was how to assemble our ideas, and we came to a handy solution that pleased us all: presenting our project through the form of a film.

-Choosing a topic of interest to the different members of the group was also a challenge we had to overcome. Through brainstorming and communication, we reached an agreement. We would cover gentrification, its development and its effects in the street-markets of Dalston and Brixton. However, another challenged awaited us: the outcome of our researches did not clearly match our original topic. Some critical resources we found were scarce to pursue such a topic. We decided to modify our topic in order to pursue our research. Thank to this plan-change, we managed to gather different relevant resources available to us in order to answer our new topic focused on the pertinence of theories and gentrification’s practical effects on individuals and spaces.

-Structuring our ideas was a serious challenge that we had to deal as a group. We decided to structure individually the project as if we were the sole contributor, to afterwards discuss our ideas and reach an agreement through thorough consideration of each other’s findings.

-Time was also a major challenge we had to deal with. Coping with team member’s availabilities, absences and schedules required communication and organization in order to pursue our research according to the strict temporal requirements that constrained our project. We had to be diligent in our work and research in order to advance effectively and not be overwhelmed. To avoid lateness, we decided to meet outside the schedules class hours and discuss extensively the next steps we would take. Communication through email, and social media also permitted us to share our ideas and marshal our progress in due time.

-Due to the nature of our presentation, one of the biggest challenge we had to overcome was getting into contact with people affected by gentrification. The question was how and who to interview? Thank to interdisciplinary approaches like Politics and Communication, we managed to devise questions that were respectful of the interviewee’s potential political opinions. We had to take moderate risks and get ambitious by getting involved personally with inhabitants of the areas. Tatjana Fanny Honegger was involved in risky situation when she was addressed by hostile people in a market place she intended to visit, picture and interview workers.

-Space-saving methods, what we chose to omit in our project, were critical to our progress. We had to decide to omit topics relevant to our broad and complex presentation subject for the sake of space saving, focus and consideration for extremely complex matters we thought extensive research would be required. For example, we chose not to analyze the significance of race and ethnic issues in gentrification. Extensive and scarce demographic statistics associated to gentrification on Dalston and Brixton would be required to incorporate such a theme in the presentation. For lack of time, space and probably skills, we did not integrate this topic in our project.

Conflict Group C: Theories on Gentrification (Summarized)

Imagined Theories vs Felt Realities in the Gentrification process of Dalston and Brixton:

1- Theories on Gentrification:

‘One of the reasons that stage models of gentrification were developed was to cope with the temporal variations in gentrification that were already apparent in the 1970s. Gentrification stage models were designed to represent gentrification in an orderly, temporal, sequential progression.’ (Loretta Lee, the birth of gentrification)

‘Gentrification in a nutshell: real pain of gentrification resides – the refurbishment that become de facto mass purging of poor residents, the choking off of the supply of social housing since the 1980’sm the granting of planning permission to new luxury blocks, the cynical redefining of ‘affordable housing’ to mean anything up to 80% of market rate (used to be 50%), developers buying their way out of their legal requirements to build affordable housing by paying cash to struggling councils, the eviction of poor families, most often people of colour or people with less fluent English’ (Dan Hancox, Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (p. 234))

-Ruth Glass:

-Definition:

– ‘Glass identified gentrification as a complex urban process that included the rehabilitation of old housing stock, tenurial transformation from renting to owning, property price increases, and the displacement of working-class residents by the incoming middle classes.’ (Loretta Lee, the birth of gentrification)

 – ‘the process by which working class residential neighbourhoods are rehabilitated by middle class homebuyers, landlords and professional developers’

 -Redevelopment ≠ Gentrification: ‘Redevelopment involves not rehabilitation of old structures but the construction of new buildings on previously developed land.’

-Hamnett and Randolph’s (1986) ‘value gap thesis’:

-emphasizes the political and institutional context shaping the actions of developers, landlords, buyers, and renters in central London at this time. It was the ‘value gap’ (the relationship between a building’s tenanted investment value and its vacant possession value, the former being a measure of the rented building’s annual rental income, and the latter a measure of the property’s future sale price when it is converted into owner-occupation—the landlord sells off the building when the gap widened sufficiently) and its attendant tenurial transformation that was the main producer – (Loretta Lee, The birth of Gentrification)

-‘the private landlords, who were to profit from the flat break-up in central London after 1966, when private rented flats were sold into owner occupation and gentrification’

-Rachmanism, and landlords taking advantages of lower classes.

-Stacey Sutton:

– ‘She says that gentrification is a process by which higher income/status people relocate/invest in low income urban neighbourhoods (which have typically been disinvested in by the public and private sector) typically to make the most of low property values, but by doing so they typically inflate property values, displace low income people and alter the culture and character of the neighbourhood.’ (Jake Glasmacher)

 -Tom Slater – Gentrification of the City  (From Jake Glasmacher’s notes)

-Smith and William debate over gentrification

-Production Perspective :  ‘emphasises the role of capital and its institutional agents in creating gentrifiable spaces.’ VS Consumption Perspective : ‘a consequence of the uneven investment of capital in certain land uses, its devaluation through use and systematic disinvestment, and the opportunities for profitable reinvestment created by these capital flows

-The new middle class: ‘Gentrifiers view living in the central city as “a mark of distinction in the constitution of an identity separate from the constellation of place and identity shaped by the suburbs – Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of cultural Habitus.

-The Costs of Gentrification: Displacement

(+ Cultural consequences, Artists are affected, Community sense impacted, Social Enclaves built…)

 -Loretta Lees:  – The Birth of Gentrification

-Definition:

-Classical gentrification (original term used by Ruth Glass): ‘disinvested inner-city neighborhoods are upgraded by pioneer gentrifiers and the indigenous residents are displaced. Working-class housing becomes middle-class housing.’

-When did gentrification start in London?

-Post-War reconstruction (Brutalism, Blocks, Internalization of the City of London…)

Ex: Abercrombie Greater London Plan (1944) / New Town Development Act (1952)

-The 1969 Housing Act (‘The act provided local authorities with the power to      allocate discretionary improvement grants.’ / ‘As the grants had to be met pound for pound by the improver, they automatically favored the more well-off improver or developer and aided the gentrification process’

-The theory of the Gentrification process as following stages:

-Early Stage Model (1970-80’s) – ‘explain the process and predict the future course of gentrification mirrored Glass’s definition of classical gentrification’

-Stage 1: Group of people move in and renovate properties for own use.

No displacement yet, vacant housing taken or part of market.

Artists or people having skills to undertake renovation

Small areas concerned

-Stage 2: More people move in and fix properties for own use.

Capital for investors scarce, only a few may renovate for resale.

Promotional activities, some displacement, media interest in area,   neighborhood’s name may change, Renovation spreads…

-Stage 3: Focus of media on area – Urban renewal and developpers move in

Individual investors may renovate for own use still.

Prices escalates, physical improvement more visible

Displacement continues and may increase

Middle-class residents freshly arrived: housing as investment and place to live

Demand for public resources and promotion of area

Tension between local and gentry emerge

Police activity – reduce crime

Bank interest: reinvestment and loans to mid-class

 

-Stage 4: Mid-class moving in, Business and managerial middle-class

Measures to reinforce the private investment taking place (public controls…)

Buildings appear on market (speculation)

Commercial activities emerge

Price rise àDisplacement intensified, concerning renter and owners

New neighborhoods concerned to supply demand of mid-class

 

-Gale (1979)

-‘formulated a classic gentrification model that underlined class and status distinctions between old and new residents in a gentrifying neighborhood. Gale’s model of classical gentrification emphasized population change in terms of the displacement of former working-class residents.’ (Loretta Lee, The birth of gentrification)

-The Gentrifier Type :

-Late twenties or thirties adults, childless, numbering 1 or 2 by household

-Educated, professional or managerial

-The Gentrifier Type by Loretta Lee:

‘The pioneer gentrifier works in the cultural professions, is risk oblivious, wants to pursue a nonconformist lifestyle, wants a socially mixed environment, and rehabilitates his or her property using sweat equity. Then more risk-conscious mainstream professionals move in, some with young families. Realtors and developers start to show an interest, and as property prices increase the original residents might be pushed out. Over time, older and more affluent and conservative households move in, attracted to what is now a safe investment. Eventually, gentrification is seen to stabilize at an endpoint of mature gentrification.’

 -Rose (1984)

-One of the first to question the conceptualization of gentrification and its process:

-She ‘criticized stage models for lumping together different processes and effects; she preferred to see gentrification as a ‘chaotic concept’ in which different actors, housing tenures, motives, and allegiances coexisted. For Rose, ‘the terms “gentrification” and “gentrifiers” … are “chaotic conceptions” which obscure the fact that a multiplicity of processes, rather than a single causal process, produce changes in the occupation of inner-city neighbourhoods from the lower to higher income residents’  (Loretta Lee, The birth of gentrification) 

-Dan Hancox – Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (London: William Collins, 2018)

-Is Gentrification inevitable?

-‘Urban change is not like the weather, and gentrification is not organic, inevitable and natural.’

-When did Gentrification start? Who planned it?

-2000’s and New Labour government’s (Ken Livingstone elected Mayor, Tony Blair’s government): urban regeneration plans hatched to ‘make the inner city the engine of bourgeois modernity, cosmopolitan culture and aspiration – the New Labour project’

-The LDDC ‘was the flagship of the hyper-gentrification that would follow across British cities, legitimizing New Labour’s urban renaissance, of which renovating and demolishing of council estates was also a vital part’

-1991 One Canda Square completed – ‘A bankers’ skyscrapers that watched over the grime kids’

-New Labour Urban Task Force (1998)– ‘promote a lasting urban renaissance to stem urban decline’

-Richard Rogers appointed architect – 1999 report Towards an Urban Renaissance

-The New Deal (1998) – Aiming to reduce unemployment, which actually ‘made it much harder for artists to live on the dole while honing and improving their craft’

-What aim the gentrification targeted?

-Gentrification – ‘would create new neighbourhoods with a mix of tenures and incomes, including opening up council housing to more of the population’

-Through what means was it implemented?

-Faster Compulsory Purchase Orders – to get people out of the blocks they wanted to demolish.

-Plan to use estate renewal using private finance initiative

-The consequences of Gentrification:

-Tensions, Protests, Displacements, Rise in prices…

-‘urban regeneration is almost always a zero-sum game: for some people to ‘come back’ to the inner city, others have to leave’

-Social enclaves: ‘gated communities had proliferated in east London around the turn of the millennium, especially in developments aimed at the wealthy new arrivals working in the City of London or Canary Wharf’ – Lack of integration and interaction with local communities

-Cultural impacts: ‘Artwash on iconic blocks by council, Legendary record shops replaced with boutique coffee shops, Blocks replaced by luxury flats…’

-Cut in funding: no youth clubs, activities…

-Wiley: ‘the market culture of the Roman Road had weakened considerably as a community hub. That market culture was massive. The difference today is people go to flipping Westfield or Bluewater’

-‘Working-class people were being decanted from the estates of inner London in the name of urban renaissance’

– ‘[ …] the urban renaissance is also making life harder for those who remain, in the inner city’s increasingly isolated social-housing blocks

– ‘With this process – not to mention Tory cuts to benefits, youth services and the removal of EMA – has come a further narrowing of opportunities and horizons for young people from poor backgrounds, and a further intensification of postcode wars, youth violence and territorialism’

-The areas concerned : neighborhood nationalism, consequences and causes

-Sociologist Les Back – ‘neighbourhood nationalism: a positive identification with the local area and the people in it, one that often transcended racial divisions, sharing slang and culture, to create a sense of civic harmony, even while racism and hostility remained commonplace in the city and the nation at large– the idea that ‘if you’re local, you’re all right’.

-‘The consequence of neighborhood nationalism, of outward pride and inward claustrophobia, was that anything beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood felt at best an alien landscape, and at worst like enemy territory’

-Post-code wars

-Lack of money to travel, confined in an area – London public transport most expensive in world

-‘While capital must be allowed to move around the world unhindered by the state, the same freedom does not apply to poor people in the west’s ‘global cities’’

Conflict Group C: lyrics about gentrification

1- Opinions about Gentrification

-Potent Whisper – Brixton First

They’re all moving in to move us out, they wanna loot the town/ We’re taking Brixton first! / We built this town we ain’t moving out 

2-Description of Areas: 

The Illersapiens – Brixton(2009)

Brixton is the word that I wanna promote /  We are many different colors, and creeds, religion and race /

-Lorna Gee – Brixton Rock (1985)

-Pride about Brixton

-Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue (1982)

Down in the street there is violence / And a lots of work to be done

-Foreign Beggars – Frosted Perspeks

Who’s it gonna be? You or me? Fuck authority

Come back home to find nothing but my peeps in vain/ Feels different even though I know the streets the same / It’s time for change

-Professor Green – Jungle

Ain’t nothing nice around here / Trouble’s what you find around here /Welcome to Hackney 

Foreign Beggars – Hold On

Hold on tight to what you own

3-About consequences of Gentrification:

-Foreign Beggars – 6 Million stories

High-rise flats for the rich to hide in / Safe way above our concrete plots, the real peak

– Dizzie Rascal – ‘Slow your Roll’

–‘The developpers rocked up… and the hood got chopped and the natives cropped and the ends got boxed up, then the price got knocked up / Foreign investment raising the stock up, so the rent got propped up, and it kept getting topped up / so the heart got ripped out and rinsed out: some got shipped out, got kicked out… Power, Money, and big clout’s what it’s about’

-Skepta – Man

Came a long way from when whites never used to mix with blacks / Now all my white niggas and my black mates, we got the game on smash

-Dizzee Rascal – Sittin’ Here

 It’s the same old story, friends slowly driftin’ from the ends

– Dizzie Rascal – ‘Everything must Go’ 

East London Youth… ‘swept off of their feet before them condos are complete’

-Kano – T-Shirt weather in the Manor

Then you try change your postcode to W10

-Harlem Spartan – Splash and Cash

Ride over there to dem pretty new blocks

Conflict Group C: Grime and Gentrification in the Inner City

Dan Hancox – Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (London: William Collins, 2018)

–> My notes are focused on gentrification and its relationship to grime as a reflection of the artists’s condition of living and changes they experience in their areas.

*Content*:

Chap 1:  The City and the City – (covers gentrification and its history)

Chapter 2: In The Roots – (Covers grime and East London history)

Chapter 3: The New Ice Age – (Grime background and sense of community)

Chapter 7: Neighbourhood Nationalism (p. 149) – (Gentrification and neighborhood pride)

Chapter 11 – Gentrification and the Manor remade (p. 231) –(Gentrification and consequences)

Epilogue: Back Your City (Conclusion and artists situation)

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X XX X X X X X X X X X XX

Chap 1:  The City and the City 

P10

August 2010 – widespread rioting in Hackney – Broadway Market

-James Meek – ‘It is as if the council-owned tower blocks and estates behind, around and in-between the gentrified patches, where less well-off and poor people live, belong to some other dimension’ / ‘Loving the cultural diversity of London as a spectator-inhabitant is not the same as mingling with it.The yuppies don’t go to the white working-class pubs, and the white-working class don’t go the the yuppies pubs’

11

May 2000 – Ken Livingstone elected Mayor ! – resigned from L party, and ran independent against Steve Norris (conservatist) and Frank Dobson.

New L government ‘were hatching grand plans to drastically smarten up the inner city forever’ 

12

Late 2010’s – cranes, luxury flats dev, hipster cafes…

‘Urban change is not like the weather, and gentrification is not organic, inevitable and natural. The new millennium began with grime’s inner city on one side, and an entirely different, largely new kind of inner city growing rapidly to take its place: expensive, monocultural, private, surveilled and planned from the very top by Tony Blair’s government’

-Inner London as richest in EU – but most deprived council estates in country !

‘Long-standing economic and social divisions were intensifying, as the changing winds of late capitalism induced the middle classes to begin moving back from suburbs and the home counties’

-Government ‘ wanted to make the inner city the engine of bourgeois modernity, cosmopolitan culture and aspiration – the New Labour project’

Conservative government – social pbs soared 

– highest pregnancy rate teenage (mid 90’s)

-Highest number of children in unemployed household

-Child poverty trebled /b/ 1979 and 1995

-Drug addicts quadruple / homeless people number soared

Since deregulation of the City in the late 1980’s, London’s role as primary economic engine magnified ! ‘But the divisions were greater too: Londoners had a higher unemployment rate than the national average and a much higher proportion of children growing up in households with no income: 36% of children in inner London lived in workless homes in 1999 – 17% nationally’

13

East London areas associated with Grime: 

-Hackney

-Tower Hamlets

-Newham 

àRanked from 1-3 on the Indices of Multiple Deprivation à‘Poverty podium’

àIn 1981, at the peak of the social-housing boom, there were over 75 000 council homes in London, housing nearly 31% of the capital’s population. It is no coincidence that they were heavily concentrated in exactly the boroughs where grim and Uk rap would later thrive: 42% of London’s social housing was in Inner East London: The boroughs of Hackney, Lambeth,Tower Hamlets, Islington, Haringey, Southwark…

15

-East London’s past weighed down with poverty and with heavy industry

-Arrival point for immigrants for centuries, where many of them made their homes in capital

-Even after de-industrialization, ‘east london remained associated with grime, dirt, grit, and debris’

-Obvious connection /b/ name of genre and locality

-‘Grime has featured a whole range of lyrical tropes in which dirt is lionized: tunes are praied as mucky – mucktion as a noun – dutty (dirty); Shystie even proclaimed one of her tunes was ‘muddy’.

-A tribute to the sonic bottom-end, a testament to the music’s geographical origins’

16

-‘Regeneration and grime are oppositional forces in the urban arena’

-Regeneration understood as a response to grit, grime, disorder.. 

-Regeneration- ‘make the city look like a kid’s play centre – and entice the middle classes to come and live in it’

17

-‘The word grime seemed to undercut a basic need for respect’ 

-‘Why would you be proud of being dirty?”

-Dizzie Racal named label ‘Dirty Stank’

18

DJ Trend – The music being made by these young people was a reflection of ‘hat you see when you wake up in the morning […]. A lot of grime in the areas […]’

19


-One Canada Square completed in 1991

-home of the newer much more dangerous unregulated financial speculation instrumental in the global financial crisis of 2008

-‘The Big Bang of urban regeneration’

-‘A bankers’ skyscrapers that watched over the grime kids’

-The LDDDC ‘was the flagship of the hyper-gentrification that would follow across British cities, legitimizing New Labour’s urban renaissance, of which renovating and demolishing of council estates was also a vital part’

-The ‘second City’ ‘was never designed to have a relationship with its neighbours’

20

-The LDDC ignored locals demands (protests in the 80’s and 90’s)

-An icon for youngest generation – Canary Wharf (chosen by Dizzie as favorite bldg.)

26

1997 – Tony Blair ‘there will be no forgotten people in the Britain I want to build’

New Labour Urban Task Force – ‘promote a lasting urban renaissance to stem urban decline’

27 

-and appointed Richard Rogers as architect – 1999 report – Towards an Urban Renaissance

-Gentrification plan: ‘would create new neighbourhoods with a mix of tenures and incomes, including opening up council housing to more of the population’

-Faster Compulsory Purchase Orders – to get people out of the blocks they wanted to demolish.

-‘The strategy was framed around the goal of arresting and reversing middle-class flight to the suburbs: encouraging people to remain in, and move back into, our major towns and cities’ would be central to the L plan – 2000 report’

-Plan to use estate renewal using private finance initiative

-David Blunkett (2001 – Home secretary) ‘government could never do it all’

-CONTESTED ! Labour’s urban renaissance strategy as ‘gentrifiers’ charter’

-Loretta Lee contested the strategy as ‘the cappuccino cave-in’

28

-Local politicians talks about gentrification – reccurence of terms like ‘balanced’ or ‘mixed’

-Logic that neighbours influence their neighbours – bringing mid-class to poorer areas will benefit their neighbours? 

-‘urban regeneration is almost always a zero-sum game: for some people to ‘come back’ to the inner city, others have to leave’

Leading property developer – fighting against ‘social enclaves’

‘It’s not gentrification, it’s just becoming a more balanced community’

30

-The New Deal made it much harder for artists to live on the dole while honing and improving their craft

-Grime kids celebrate their independent, DIY spirit […] they did so with the help of youth clubs, school teachers, and a collective, communitarian spirit that was being pummeled y a government determined to dismantle it, in the name of remaking the inner city’.

Chapter 2: In The Roots

P33

‘Grime emerged from a spider’s web of intergenerational influences, schoolmates, neighbours, friends, family and people who knew people – from school, from the estate, from the local area’

‘Grime is black music’ – although not always made by black people ofc

‘The generation of Caribbean migrants who began arriving in Britain after the Empire Windrush docked in the Thames in 1948 tended to settle in Notting Hill in the west, and Brixton in the south’.

-But depopulation in east (due to numerous factors from slum clearance to post war damages) – housing became cheap, therefore attracting immigrants settling in London.

34

‘Grime’s lineage is suffused with this sense of kinship’

Kano Made in The Manor(2016) -Multigenerational and diverse community depiction

35

‘In part of infer London with more substantial black communities, grime’s originators were bound through pre-internet social networks formed by geography and background, by a sense of being marginalized by poverty or racism’

36

‘Reggae suffused the general atmosphere that the grime generation grew up in, tracing direct ancestral links from Britain’s pre-acid house reggae culture, some of it imported from Caribbean, some of it created by black Britons.’

‘[…] Grime echoes its Jamaican reggae heritage in its structure, in its tropes, in its slang, in the way it’s performed and stylistically: particularly harking back to the fast chat reggae style of the likes of Smiley Culture […]’

‘Grime is a direct product of Caribbean sound-system culture’

37

‘There’s a unique and productive cultural tension at the heart of grime that comes directly from its inner-London geography, of working-class cultures from African and Caribbean diasporas intermingling with working-class London slang and culture […]’

Duality referred as ‘Cockney’ (east London slang) and ‘Yardie’ (slang from Jamaica)

Chapter 3: The New Ice Age

58

‘There is a reason all those hood videos and freestyles show the MCs with their crewand their mates gathered around them, whooping and popping gunfingers: because that’s how the bars are written, refined, practiced and improved to begin with: it’ not so much a gathering performance, to camera, as an –  albeit slightly exaggerated –mirror on the day-today reality of where the music comes from’

‘The story of grime in east London in particular is a dense family tree of friendships that initially preceded music […]’

60

Millenium – garage decline, grime rise !

61

‘’While on one side of the A13, Canary Wharf’s tenant enriched themselves to dizzying new heights, the sounds emanating from the tower blocks barely a mile away declaimed through the airwaves that there was more than one east London’

63

First Grime music ? Wiley ‘Eskimo’ or ‘Pulse X’

67

‘ […] The significant break in the tradition of rave-based British MC culture was the grime generation’s turn away from the functional role of (party or radio) host towards storytelling’

2002-3 – the taxonomy of what would become ‘grime’ was greatly contested 

69

Grime sounds like its environment 

70

Newest of bass sound – dark bass – differentiate grime from garage

Chapter 7: Neighbourhood Nationalism (p. 149)

151

-Wider city expensiveness – manor important for locals

-‘Grime’s strength was always in its intense localism, more than its expression of universal truths: crews from different London neighbourhoods described their ends with glowing pride, in parts because they continued to be excluded from grander national or civic identities’

-Sociologist Les Back – neighbourhood nationalism: a positive identification with the local area and the people in it, one that often transcended racial divisions, sharing slang and culture, to create a sense of civi harmony, even while racism and hostility remained commonplace in the city and the nation at large– the idea that ‘if you’re local, you’re all right’.

152

‘Grime makes a huge priority of neighborhood pride’ 

Dot Rotten – This is the beginning

153

‘microscopically local’

Neighborhood nationalism in grime – ‘a response to urban claustrophobia, and a reflection to the need to declare a positive identity: to stand up and be counted as a representative of your area’

156

‘The consequence of neighborhood nationalism, of outward pride and inward claustrophobia, was that anything beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood felt at best an alien landscape, and at worst like enemy territory’

157 

[…] the negative side of the convivial neighborhood nationalism, became increasingly hyped by the media as ‘postcode wars’ during the 2000’s.

158

Relationship tenuous with gang violence and music

BUT LESS TODAY – drill music – where performative lyrics about riding the ‘opp blocks’ to attack or humiliate opponents seem to correspond more and more with reality – gang related videos…

159

Without money to travel, restriction to a local territory – watched from all sides, – paranoia

160

The creation of grime was not just a collective act of identity formation, but the creation of a space – one positioned in between dominant American pop culture, the alienation and hopelessness of British society […] and inherited second and third generation immigrant cultures that felt less relevant to young lives of those touching the mic

162 

Idea that London higher classes share more with higher classes in other places of the world than with their poor neighbors living down the road

Chapter 11 – Gentrification and the Manor remade (p. 231)

231

2012 – Jubilee and Olympic Games in London

-anti-austerity demonstration

232

‘[…] the commons to generate profit for its wealthy aristocratic elite, neoliberal capitalism requires putting up walls in our cities, policing and restricting public spaces, and creating enclaves where access is dictated only by wealth and power: including gated communities, securitized blocks of luxury flats, private roads, and shopping malls instead of street markets’

‘While capital must be allowed to move around the world unhindered by the state, the same freedom does not apply to poor people in the west’s ‘global cities’’

233

Bow quarter building – historic – 1888 match girl’s strikes – harbinger of gentrification – transformed into a private residential complex

à‘These gated communities had proliferated in east London around the turn of the millennium, especially in developments aimed at the wealthy new arrivals working in the City of London or Canary Wharf’

‘It was exactly the kind of walling that keeps richer residents from having to interact with the poor locals’ 

The landscape that forged grime was disappearing from the map

Artwash on iconic blocks by council

Legendary record shops replaced with boutique coffee shops

Blocks replaced by luxury flats

Troy Miller: ‘Obviously, gentrification is a problem: there’s hardly anything for the younger ones to do, there’s no youth clubs anymore.’

234

Wiley: ‘the market culture of the Roman Road had weakened considerably as a community hub. That market culture was massive. The difference today is people go to flipping Westfield or Bluewater’ 

Gentrification in a nutshell: real pain of gentrification resides – the refurbishment that become de facto mass purging of poor residents, the choking off of the supply of social housing since the 1980’sm the granting of planning permission to new luxury blocks, the cynical redefining of ‘affordable housing’ to mean anything up to 80% of market rate (used to be 50%), developers buying their way out of their legal requirements to build affordable housing by paying cash to struggling councils, the eviction of poor families, most often people of colour or people with less fluent English’

238

‘Working-class people were being decanted from the estates of inner London in the name of urban renaissance’

241

2012 official slogan: Inspire a Generation

242 

2009-20012 – the earnings gap was greater than it had been – and Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Barking and Dagenham retained some of the highest levels of child poverty in the entire country 

Epilogue: Back Your City

295

Urban Renaissance led by Labour government transformed city 

-It is a city where working class mobility is restrained by the most expensive public transport in the world

297

How are the city changing and for whose benefit? Important question.

àInflux of foreign investment into London property market – financial speculation: owners expect price to rise – prices far beyond reach for majority of Londoners

Consequence: exodus of working class people from London to country-side or periphery

BUT likely that they will stay, living further away from their job in centre, and paying more for transport àeffect of mental health, social lives…

299

Dizzie Rascal – ‘Everything must Go’ – East London youth ‘swept off of their feet before them condos are complete’

                        -‘Slow your Roll’ –‘The developpers rocked up… amd the hood got chopped and the natives cropped and the ends got boxed up, then the price got knocked up / Foreign investment raising the stock up, so the rent got propped up, and it kept getting topped up / so the heart got ripped out and rinsed out: some got shipped out, got kicked out… Power, Money, and big clout’s what it’s about’ 

304

‘While the turbo-gentrification of inner London since grime’s inception has pushed poor people further and further out, as their estates are methodically demolished or sold off, and rents soar to prohibitibe new heights, the urban renaissance is also making life harder for those who remain, in the inner city’s increasingly isolated social-housing blocks.’ 

‘With this process – not to mention Tory cuts to benefits, youth services and the removal of EMA – has come a further narrowing of opportunities and horizons for young people from poor backgrounds, and a further intensification of postcode wars, youth violence and territorialism’

Drill rise in south London council estates – if grime mentioned violence bearing relationship to the MC’s way of life – drill talks about nothing else: track centres on a world of postcode wars, drug dealing and violent crime.

Harlem Spartans – ‘Kent Nizzy’ and ‘Kennington where it started’

-neighborhood anthems, drill’s intensification of the hyper-localism and claustrophobia of grime

Youth under siege from poverty, and youth violence, inequality and institutional and societal racism…. Make way to luxury flats by destroying council estates and blocks…

àElephant and Castle  and kennington prices tripled since the millennium..

The power of grime comes from transmuting the anxiety, pain and joy of inner-city life into music. That power shifts and bends its form as the world around it changes, and will continue to do so. 

 

Conflict Group C: Drill Articles

-https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jan/14/security-has-deteriorated-young-londoners-pay-price-as-city-expands?CMP=share_btn_tw&fbclid=IwAR1GhL9nOlLJHkTxbyd8eDwU_L6TgQuFUPqiZYg7OSEkT1IhL04GcVldYyg

-But as London approaches megacity status (its population is projected to pass 10 million in 2027), pressure on resources is increasing, as are certain types of violent crime. Last year was a grim one for the city: 135 people were murdered, which, although well short of of the 221 murders recorded in 2003, was the highest murder rate in a decade. Knife crime in particular is up.

-Drill music was barely familiar even to most music journalists a year ago. For the last 12 months it has dominated headlines. News bulletins, politicians, judges and senior police officers condemned it for inciting youth violence: “the brutal rap that fuels gang murder”, said a headline in the Spectator; “disturbing”, said the Daily Mail; the Times called it “demonic”.

-In May, the chief of the Metropolitan police, Cressida Dick, condemned “gangs who make drill videos” with “lyrics which are about glamorising violence, serious violence – murder, stabbings”

– That same month, the Met announced that it had successfully lobbied YouTube to remove 30 rap videos because of their violent content. 

-And yet the scapegoating of the genre has come at the expense of any concerted attempt to address the myriad problems at the roots of the violence. The marginal status of the working-class black boys and young men who make drill means there has been little high-profile opposition to the Met’s new experiments in censorship.

-“There are deeper problems going on in the communities, and until those problems are solved, the violence is going to keep going on,” the south London drill rapper AM said when I spoke to him in 2018.

When you think there were riots in 2011, to keep cutting youth services after that is just obviously going to be wrong,” says the Green London assembly member Sian Berry. “The underlying causes of the riots have not been addressed at all. Especially in work and housing, things have actually got a lot worse.”

The city has transformed at a bewildering rate in those eight years. EvenBrexit fears have only dampened London house prices a bit, and have done little to halt gentrification.

In the “pretty new blocks” described by the Harlem Spartans rapper Bis, out of 11,863 new homes in Southwark, only 456 (3.8%) were made available at social rent, according to the 35% Campaign, despite the fact that Southwark council’s own planning guidelines stipulate that 35% of new homes should be affordable.

Council estates rendered fortresses of poverty and social problems, where so-called postcode wars break out between groups of young people “caught slipping” outside of their turf, against the backdrop of pretty new apartment blocks and branches of Le Pain Quotidien.

“The gentrification of the area means you can get a nice cup of coffee, and that’s nice, but I doubt any of our young people have been in any of the fancy new businesses here,” says Katie Worthington, who runs the Westminster House Youth Club in nearby Nunhead. “They’re excluded from classes at other centres aimed at the middle-class kids, which cost £7 or £8 a pop.”

Many of the families of the members have been uprooted from private rented accommodation when landlords decided to sell, and told to leave London entirely because there’s no affordable housing nearby. “You don’t feel like a citizen of your own city: it’s all so prohibitively expensive,” Worthington says. “Why would you feel like a Londoner if you’re excluded from all this?”

Since the riots, London has seen 81 youth clubs close, and a 44% cut to the youth service budget at council level, following austerity measures handed down from central government.

-YOUTH CLUBS –  save a lot of young people from getting into trouble – and they also help others to thrive. It gives them new horizons, makes them feel like they’re worth investing in – all those things that create disaffection and alienation when they’re suddenly not there any more.”

-Brixton Blog – https://www.brixtonblog.com/2018/02/interview-hip-hop-pioneer-ty-on-jazz-grime-and-brixton-gentrification/49674/?cn-reloaded=1&fbclid=IwAR0j9loKkOyuG_RhZU6SgErjZvBNY5899-_TgfA6JOiK_aNlzBxkKenUo_U-

Rapper Ty interview 

– ‘But there are also moments of celebration. Brixton Baby– a nod to US jazz funk legend Roy Ayers’ We Live In Brooklyn Baby – paints a detailed and ultimately deeply affectionate portrait of Brixton with all its pleasures, challenges and changes.The song features the Brixton born and raised vocalist Mpho McKenzie, who Ty met at the hip hop workshop Ghetto Grammar.

She delivers a brilliant rap describing the neighbourhood’s changing face and her own complex relationship with gentrification. I ask Ty how he feels about the changes. “I like the fact that there’s money in Brixton. I like the fact that there’s Brixton Village and people have shops like United 80, Pure Vinyl and Diverse. 

“The sad thing is watching things like opposite Brixton Recreation Centre … The way that the traders are being treated by the council is disgusting and I think we’re going to really suffer – the energy and the bustle of Brixton is going to be muted.

“It’s already feeling like a ghost town in certain areas and I’m not used to that. So there’s definitely an evacuation of Brixton that people don’t seem to care about.

“It’s concerning for me that some people moving in are not understanding that you have to take Brixton as it is. If you like the area then you have to appreciate the culture – not isolate the culture. But I’m here for the long haul. So we’ve got to make it work.”

-CRACK MAGAZINE: DRILL MUSIC AND GENTRIFICATION IN BRIXTON

-drill music, a modern, aggressive form of local trap rap. Lyrics about the bleak extremes of urban life – shanks, drugs, police – carried across the carpark from a phone speaker. I recognised the music playing to be that of the drill group 150, who, like members of the community centre, are from Loughborough and Angell Town housing estates. 150 have a longstanding rivalry with 67– the indisputable flag-bearers of the drill scene – who are from Brixton Hill.

-Music videos have become a medium through which groups of young men can fire shots at their opps without leaving their estate. 

-Drill music was appropriated via YouTube from the ganglands of Chicago by a generation of comparably impoverished, territorial and technologically savvy young men living amongst the housing estates of South London. It is now simultaneously an integral component of local adolescent life and growing cultural fascination for online fans looking to dig deeper into London’s increasingly reputable and diverse rap economy. In 2017, it is not unusual for drill videos to reach over a million YouTube views.

-Group 410 – 150’s allies

-Gentrification is transforming Brixton. This proud, if troubled, heartland of the Caribbean diaspora now exists in two distinct, parallel realities for many of the people who live here. This is not to say inequality in South London is a new phenomenon. But now, on the one hand, more and more young professionals like myself are moving into this part of London, creating a growing demand for new commercial hubs like Pop Brixton and shiny residential complexes like Oval Quarter. On the other, socioeconomically lagging pockets of social housing dotted around town remain, as they have done for decades, in which longstanding communities continue to live in relative poverty and neglect.

-Like grime music was for young East Londoners living amongst the high-rise estates of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets during the early- to mid-2000s, when these boroughs were undergoing their own early stages of sweeping regenerative change – think Stratford Olympic Park and Canary Wharf – drill music might be understood as South London’s own musical reaction to unchecked social inequality. It is not a coincidence that the genre has colonised London’s musical subterranea during the exact same time period, birthed upon the same precise geographical spaces – Brixton, Walworth, Peckham – in which the most aggressive form of gentrification has taken place.

-Next to Oval cricket ground, it is home to Harlem Spartans, a teenage collective taking the drill sound in an innovative, synthy direction (‘Harlem’ is another word for the Kennington area)

-Harlem are enemies with 410, and allies with a collective called Moscow from Brandon estate in Walworth, just the other side of Kennington Park. 

-The Independent– Inside UK drill, the demonised rap genre representing a marginalised generation – https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/drill-music-london-stabbings-shootings-rap-67-abra-cadabra-comment-government-a8305516.html

-What seems like indiscriminate, inexplicable crime is having its root causes dissected and, in a state of moral panic and unfolding debate, mainstream media is clumsily pointing to one direction: the current soundtrack of the UK’s streets, drill.

Scratching beneath the surface of their explosive and territorial bravado further, you discover that these drillers are really crying out for help, speaking to a mental anguish that has engulfed them but fails to be addressed.

Rather than looking inwards, admitting the failure of a generation and putting systems in place to begin rectifying the damage, higher forces continue to show little care, and the result is bloodshed. To implicate a musical genre for such violence – something that has existed generations before UK drill became a factor – is, frankly, unfounded. These problems would exist without drill, so why is it now the fashionable thing to heap blame upon?

-MC Abradacabra – “There are people doing mad tings, not because they want, but because the situation has forced them to.”

An endless cycle of interrogation may put these forces at ease, but ignoring these problems breed contempt, giving birth to more violence. Regardless of London’s murder rate, drill will continue to offer a voice to those without one because, for many of them, it’s all they have to survive.

Mainstream media, the government and public services have the tools to transform some of these communities for the better, but it requires a real change in mentality that, based on the current chain of events, is not achievable in the near future.

Conflict Group C: Foreign Beggars Interview

QUESTIONS

-What message do you convey with your music and what audience are you targeting?

Social and political comments – entertainment – different standards of living and seeing societies/life – Anyone interested in Hip-Hop and politics

Respect for art form – hip hop as driving force to live – community living 

-Grime title relevance?

Media chose it – grime –the artist did not chose it but appropriated the title

Dizzie rascal dirty stank – grime about dirtiness, gritty representation of what the city is and what they go through – significant label

-Do you or did you often perform in Hackney or Brixton? (Yes, lived there for years)

-What do you think of those districts? Did you notice a change in those areas? 

-Changed a lot – gentrification problem: driving people community out, familie compelled to leave.

– international big businesses coming to the area.

– Brixton different gentrification:  important cultural, changes upcoming, still a multicultural community thriving although major changes brought about by gentrification

-Dalston massive change, strong culture and community sense. – interesting because very artistic, lot of business, sort of edginess, new buildings, more restaurants, ‘nyc vibe’, demand for new amenities.

– Immigration important, multinational demographic, a lot of the artists canot live there anymore, lot of successful artists and businesses prospering though 

People need space and support, community to thrive – poorest cannot live there anymore  

Culturally a cool place – dynamic – but people driven further out // Peckham gentrified

-ARTISTS WILL HAVE TO LEAVE IN  5-6yrs?

Central London core of economy – no independent business found in W1

South Tottenham – gentrification – people moved out – venues, studios, communities all closing

People’s right to protect their areas from undesirable changes 

-Do you talk about gentrification in London in your music? What song or songs cover those topics? (6 million stories, Frosted Perspeks, Hold On)

-Change about pride and culture

Change for locals – bought it and price rise…

-artists make this place unique 

Gentrification bring uninterested people in, wanting change in areas they actually do not come from – Not a part of community and culture – luxury flat seclusion from rest of society

People out of London driven forcibly – Artists turn to other cities like Athens, Lisbon… Undesirable changes for London cultural patrimony

-Have you heard of drill music? What do you think of it?

-Violence – music is music as entertainment and driving force – influences from way of life – gamification of gang culture as massive problem – youth culture as a big problem – not their responsivity – resp of the government – marginalization – System as responsible, structure of society and funding – need help and focus from the government- more youth clubs, less social enclaves

-Individuals suffering from society structure and effects

-Government focus on London:

Whole section of society – austerity since thatcher – tory government stance with poor people a problem

– Post code wars stupid as gentrification change areas – appeasement ? no just move problem further away 

àGov funding should be more focused on those who need it the most – bad management of taxes, and state budget – jail for example – need an alternative system more economic and respectful – human before money 

àPoliticians have no awareness of society – criminalization of marginalized section of population – unemployment drive people to extremities

-Lack of interaction between classes – Will there be a ‘mixed’ community after gentrification?

Council housing mixed up (better than ghettos in USA) – balanced and harmonious community areas 

But luxury flats as social enclaves – lack of integration !

Classes and money dictating status in society – need other standards

Conclusion:   London – dynamic, immigration – demand for businesses in central London – Artists important for the country – international exportation and Melting pot

-art progress and evolution thank to immigration – street-art, music as valuable cultural patrimony that should be more respected and protected

Group C – Conflict: Notes on Gentrification and Hackney

Hello,

Here are the notes I have taken from two secondary resources last week:

-‘I love Hackney / Keep it crap’ – Hannah Jones

87

-Michael Rosen and Iain Sinclair are both local residents, writers and public figures, and have both been involved in public arguments with the local authority over regeneration and change in the borough (HACKNEY)

88

-For many of my interviewees, Rosen and Sinclair had come to symbolise a particular form of middle-class gentrification. The relationship of middle-class gentrifiers to the places they inhabit in the inner city (and specifically in Hackney) has been discussed at length elsewhere.2 Very often, there is a conclusion that many middle-class inhabitants of poor and ethnically diverse areas enjoy living there because they can choose to opt in and out of the excitement of multicultural inner-city life. That is, they are able to claim an affinity with what they perceive as ‘exotic’ or ‘different’, and thereby increase their cultural capital (knowledge of others, superiority over suburban ‘normality’) while remaining able (by virtue of their economic capital) to retreat into more privileged and safer environments.

-Author’s discussion:

– First, the negotiations over the meaning of Hackney are not separate from sociological analysis; they are not carried out in a closed environment, to which social theory can be applied from the outside. They might be understood as ‘public sociology’ as outlined in Chapter One, where sociological imaginations are applied outside the academic arena, and research participants are able to draw on sociological resources to negotiate their own place within government.

-Second, many interviewees refer to a group of gentrifiers who are against (a particular type of) gentrification, and who are trying to protect a nostalgic past which maintains some of the difficulties of living in Hackney which made their own journey so ‘pioneering’ – and also exclusive (and therefore provided profoundly greater cultural capital).

-> THE AUTHOR FOCUSES – on how (and why) debates about the future of Hackney, and about processes of regeneration or gentrification, are played out through emotive narratives that call on ideas of authenticity of place and of voice. (p. 107)

89-91

What is Hackney?

-Hackney is an inner London borough in the north east of the city, 18.98 square kilometres of land,3 3.3 square kilometres of green space,4 247,000 people (LBH, 2012b) in 101,690 households (LBH, 2012a). 36% of the population is White British and the 30% of households speak a main language other than English (LBH, 2012b). 42% of the population aged 16-74 have a degree or equivalent qualification, and 20% of the same group have no qualifications; both of these are higher proportions than the London average (LBH, 2012b). House prices rose 176.6% between 2000 and 2005 (LBH, 2006a), the average house price is £426,470 (20% higher than for London as a whole and more than two and a half times the average for England and Wales) (LBH, 2012b).

The average male life expectancy is more than a year shorter than the London average (LBH, 2012b). Hackney was the only inner London borough without a tube line until the London Overground opened in 2010, and was one of the five London boroughs to host the 2012 Olympics.

Hackney is consistently ranked among the top four most deprived areas in the country (Noble et al, 2009). In 2009 78% of residents agreed that people from different backgrounds get along well in the area. (Ipsos MORI, 2009, p 39)

-Hackney has enormous strength and great opportunities. We are in the centre of London, one of the world’s most thriving cities.The people who live here have come from many different ethnic backgrounds and brought cultural diversity and vitality to the borough. The population is young, so has real prospects to improve its life chances. The borough itself is, in many respects a good place to live, with busy vibrant areas, strong communities and attractive open spaces. But many of the benefits of growing prosperity in the capital have not extended to us. While other parts of London experience pockets of deprivation, every ward in Hackney is among the 10 percent most deprived wards nationally. There are many problems facing us: poor skills and attainment levels, high mobility, a weak transport system, high levels of crime and poor environmental conditions.

Increasingly Hackney is also experiencing a polarisation of its community between richer and poorer groups while those with moderate incomes choose, or are forced, to live elsewhere.This polarisation can only harm the prospects for our borough. It makes it increasingly difficult for people to see pathways out of poverty – to become economically active, successful and stay in the borough. It makes it more difficult to recruit to the jobs which are needed to service our community. (LBH, 2006b, p 3)

-Hackney is well known for being one of the most diverse areas in the country. It is a place where you can walk past Turkish supermarkets, Jamaican takeaways, fish and chip shops or Nigerian restaurants on one road.It is an area where mosques, synagogues and churches lie within five minutes of each other. Living in Hackney means having diversity at your fingertips…. For me, Hackney is a microcosm of multicultural Britain and there are many lessons the rest of the country could learn from community relations here. (Abbott, 2008)

93

-In my interviews with policy practitioners in Hackney they were very aware of the negative discourses that they felt still dominated outsiders’ views of Hackney as a place of crime, deprivation and squalor, the typical sense of the abject inner city.The feeling that this portrayal was something to fight against was strong in my research interviews, but finding explicit examples of such depictions is not a straightforward task.The place has absorbed the connotations of the abject inner city to such an extent that it is unnecessary to spell this out in national discourse – a reference to Hackney in an article on knife crime, teenage pregnancy or street gangs, it seems, is sufficient to set the scene of fear, neglect or immorality.

94

-In Abbott’s account, Hackney is proposed as standing notfor the dangerous inner city, but as “a microcosm of multicultural Britain” from which others should learn.This is Hackney as the safe and celebratory multicultural ideal that as I argued in ChapterTwo is one way various actors have tried to reposition Hackney in the wider geographic and political imaginary.

96

‘I love Hackney. Keep it crap.’

Laura was a senior officer whose work was partly related to a recent publicity campaign based around the slogan ‘I Love Hackney’. This began with an exhibition at Hackney Museum drawing on locals’ memories of the borough, drawing together multiple narratives of place.A striking aspect of the exhibition was the use of a logo based on the ‘I Love NY’ iconography,9 replacing Hackney in the motif, and later available on badges, mugs, sweatshirts, bags and other items. […] This campaign was very popular, inside and outside Hackney – although perhaps only with certain people. When wearing my ‘I Love Hackney’ badge, people asked me (elsewhere in London) if I’d ever been there. Other people have reported seeing them worn in Brighton and Oxford, by middle-class Hackney exiles.The logo was thus worn as a fashion item, while also used as a more traditional municipal message, on posters promoting falling crime rates and encouraging recycling, and as the theme for a local photography competition celebrating the borough and what people loved about it.10

-In the interview extract above, Laura was grappling with the Hackney brand as it related to national policy makers, rather than residents […]. Initially concerned that national policy makers may have a negative, outdated or inaccurate view of the borough, Laura’s speech quickly turned to excitement about the potential for developing the brand.When she questioned whether the emotion that was drawn on by the Hackney brand was ‘accurate’, and began to talk about turning to the future rather than the past, Laura was describing the move that she and others had made for the local authority with the rebranding ofHackney.Bytakingthegutreactionandemotionaldraw,connected with the fear and desire of the inner city, and harnessing it to ‘the future’ as symbolised by the 2012 Olympic Games, regeneration and the ‘vibrancy’ that is so often invoked in the positive profiles of the borough,the statement‘I Love Hackney’uses the edginess of Hackney’s prior associations to evoke much stronger affective ties than might come from a simple narrative of improving public services.

98

-While the local authority and other agencies of governance (London Development Agency, Olympic Delivery Authority, Visit London tourist authority) have packaged ‘edginess’ as an attraction for residents, business investment and tourists, there is a vocal group of residents (writers, poets, artists, political activists and others) making their own claims to speak for the authentic place and to champion this ‘edge’ in a different way. Part of the defensive struggle for the authentic claim to love Hackney has been a tendency among some elected politicians and local officers to label as the ‘Keep Hackney Crap brigade’ those who term the council’s regeneration as gentrification (or, occasionally, ‘gentricide’ or ‘regenocide’), as in this interview with Joe, a senior politician in the borough

– see p98-99 for Joe’s speech

99

-Jules Pipes – 2009 – article in the Guardian – Pipe’s comments were in response to a newspaper article written by the local poet and political activist (and former children’s laureate) Michael Rosen, who had criticised the nature of the regeneration of the Dalston area of the borough, and the local authority’s role in it. Rosen’s piece was subtitled ‘Regeneration has become a byword for New Labour’s disregard for democracy and slavish devotion to business’(Rosen, 2008a). Pipe countered that Rosen’s ‘ill-informed stance against the Dalston development is just the latest example of the “Keep Hackney Crap” mentality so beloved of the borough’s far left contingent’ (quoted in Hill, 2008). In this exchange, the argument was much more clearly about the question of political and economic choices as to ‘how best to bring prosperity to inner-city neighbourhoods’, as Hill pointed out (Hill, 2008).Yet the rhetorical power of affective language, and in particular the label ‘Keep Hackney Crap’, was unleashed as another way of confronting these debates through the lens of attachment and devotion, as well as through the oppositional framing of nostalgia and progress.

-the iconic ‘I Love Hackney’ badges became parodied by the independent production of badges bearing the slogan ‘Keep Hackney Crap’.

100

a struggle over what it means to ‘love’ Hackney– keeping an affection for the ‘crap’, or wanting to improve and change the place in some way.

Improving for Whom ?

Michael Rosen and Iain Sinclair – the two have rather different positions in the struggles over meaning in Hackney.

101

-Michael Rosen, on the other hand, has long been active within left- wing politics.The article that embroiled him in the argument with Mayor Pipe outlined above was published in Socialist Worker,and he has produced artistic as well as journalist work on political themes, in particular criticising regeneration projects such as the model seen in Dalston

-The dilemmas of how to improve local quality of life without thereby becoming subject to market processes that produce this demographic change led to evident frustration for many.

-The sigh of relief at ‘no sense of regeneration here’ may refer to some kind of distaste for a cleaning-up seen as antiseptic and inauthentic, but coupling this with an apparent celebration of the ‘bristling’, ‘steel-shuttered’ scene of young drug dealers heading for an early grave undermines this romanticism (similarly the drawing on another mythology of place, a conflict-hardened and depressed image of Belfast).This is the reading of many council officers and councillors such as Joe and Sam, who feel that Sinclair and other critics are sitting pretty in the ‘nicer’ parts of Hackney, wanting to preserve the picturesque poverty elsewhere for their own inspiration, without caring about the people who live in the majority of the borough.

103

-In Sinclair’s dreams of Hackney, the ‘unnoticed and unrequired ruin[s]’ should be cherished (Sinclair, 2008b). For him, their renovation was a tragedy, profit conquering aesthetics, with Olympic legacy building as a driving force. Although he might argue that he was defending creativity and urban energy, it is easy to respond that this was self-indulgent in comparison with meeting pressing needs for affordable housing and decent services. But while mourning the loss of ‘every previously unnoticed and unrequired ruin’, he also recognised that some of the work of turning them ‘to profit’ had been done by the ‘impoverished artists and free-livers’ themselves. While Sinclair is nostalgic for the waste and ruin of a haunted landscape, he also recognises that this nostalgia is his subject, and that as it becomes built on and over-written, the material for his own writing expands.

104

-As an author,Iain Sinclair’s main concern is much different from that of local authority officers, politicians or other policy practitioners. He and his work have become embroiled in political negotiations, and one reason for this is that brand and narratives of place leach between municipal campaigns, political movements, cultural artefacts and commercial development, as, more deliberately, have Michael Rosen’s interventions.

-Some months after the ‘I Love Hackney’ campaign was established, the reopening of Gillett Square11in the Dalston area of Hackney as a renovated urban space was greeted by the elected Mayors of London and Hackney, 200 saxophonists and an audience for an afternoon of celebratory music and dance. It also attracted a group of protesters with signs declaiming the ‘gentricide’ or ‘regenocide’ they felt the new space represented, with its repaved square and ban on public drinking. Their view was that the square’s renovation was a privatisation of public space and another stage in the transfer of wealth and power from poor to rich, and in this process a neutering of some form of authentic Hackney-ness (Ben, 2006).

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-The protest at the opening of Gillett Square was recalled by several council officers and elected members as typical of privileged gentrifiers wanting to preserve a sense of urban grittiness at the expense of those without the cultural and economic capital to insulate them from its ill effects. More than one council officer described to me a group of teenagers telling the protesters that they (the teenagers) were glad that the place was now “safer, more well-lit”.

-Gillett Square is in Dalston, the area of Hackney where poet Michael Rosen lives, and one undergoing rapid change associated in particular with the arrival of a new link to the Tube system, the opening of new cultural and entertainment venues and large-scale housing developments. Michael Rosen has been outspoken about these changes, the subject of his public spat with Mayor Pipe outlined above, and with comments published in Time Out:

A demographic dream grew in the heart of the large white building: they could change the way Hackney is … families out, young professionals in. Migrants’ shops out, chain stores in. Blink and you’ll miss the rising of another block of loft- style apartments … Manhattan … studio … modern living etc…. A train linking Hackney to Croydon is on its way, reminding us that the great white building will preside over the Croydonisation of Dalston and no one really knows what the Olympics will bring. (Rosen, 2007)

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As more people “who look like them and sound like them” gain access to Hackney’s inner London exoticism, it undermines the rarity and value of the cultural capital they have amassed through an exclusive association with the place. Rosen acknowledged that these attitudes existed, but distanced himself from them (again, they were the absent others who defined the speaker’s position as an authentic Hackney resident). For Rosen, such people were something of a sideshow: “THE problem” is the way in which urban change is progressing within a neoliberal capitalist framework.

-Although Rosen pushed for greater attention to the preservation of older urban environments in Dalston in particular, he argued that this was not an outright opposition to urban change, but that he favoured more community-led and less capital-intensive development. He contrasted this to the local authority model of reliance on the capital and leverage available within the parameters of local government power and the vagaries of the property market. Rosen went on to describe an altercation with a council official in which their contrasting visions of Hackney collided: p106

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-Rosen’s question – “improving for whom?” – is at the centre of these narratives and counter-narratives.

            –The local authority practitioners I spoke with saw the renovation of Gillett Square as benefiting local young people (those who were reported as being pleased about better lighting, paving and security), albeit relying on elements of private investment and public–private partnership to do so

            –Michael Rosen (and, we might presume, the ‘gentricide’ protesters) emphasised the role of ‘very large private capital’ profiting from something that ‘nobody has asked for’.

            -Protectinv area from the homogenising and excluding forces of capitalism.Rosen sensed that he and the local authority representative he encountered “were talking two completely different languages”. But I would suggest that the mutual incomprehension was not so clearcut. While Rosen and others were not championing poverty, nor were the policy practitioners I interviewed uncomplicatedly championing gentrification or free market logics. And people in both ‘camps’ were aware of, if not comfortable with, the ways that their own fortunes were implicated in the positions they took in these debates.

Brand and Cultural Capital

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-The marketing literature distinguishes branding as a distinct approach to selling a ‘product’ that is not about a fundamental change in the product or an association with a simple abstract emotion, but attachment to a narrative (Holt and Cameron, 2010). Lury suggests that not only have brands become used as a way of organising the role of emotion in brand relations (between consumer and product), but that the use of brands relies on a shift in which ‘[i]nstead of a desire to keep up with the Joneses, consumers are believed to be more concerned with finding meaning in their lives’

-The reappropriation of brand myths can be thought of as a form of trading in cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986), where identities or meanings that are otherwise seen as abject become a source of cultural capital for those people who are able to adopt appealing aspects of the identity, while avoiding abject connotations

-Skeggs suggests that the logics and techniques of branding are used in popular culture to commodify the culture and experiences of working-class British people, making identification with these ‘products’ an asset for middle-class people, which they can trade on as cultural capital (see also Skeggs, 2004). In the case of Hackney (and other places like it), the power of ‘edgy’ branding allows a place that is seen as dangerous and uncomfortable to be appropriated by those whose existing economic, cultural and social capital enables them to escape any actual danger, while profiting from association with local myths.

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-But some residents took exception to this as a potentially disingenuous ‘sanitising’ of local difference, packaged to appeal to ‘the middle class’. Their response, in the form of various rebranded cultural artefacts, was to declare their allegiance to another imagined version of the borough under a defiant slogan ‘Keep Hackney Crap’.This second type of claim to ‘Love Hackney’ (as ‘Crap’) could be a claim to authentic knowledge similar to that outlined above – it’s not crap, or ‘one person’s crap is another’s gold’. But another, more ironic version of this reappropriation of the Hackney brand is that by identifying with a place seen by others as dangerous,‘dour’ or down-at-heel, people gain a sense of excitement and edginess without actually being exposed to any danger.

-Philo and Kearnspose a confrontation between accounts of place and history produced ‘in the name of an urban-based bourgeoisie’, and those ‘in the name of those “other peoples” of the city’ (Philo and Kearns, 1993, p 26; emphasis added).Their assumption is that each of these groups speak for themselves, and are in competition, so that the stories of ‘other peoples’ are always silenced by the bourgeoisie. But all of the accounts provided here are accounts made in the name of the disempowered and marginalised, by middle-class urbanites. Philo and Kearns’ model can only really work when histories of the working class, women, ethnic others, sexual minorities, disabled people and other marginalised groups are seen as uninteresting,irrelevant or threatening by those with greater power to command narratives of place.

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-As the ‘Keep Hackney Crap’ badges, the artists who ‘can’t believe their luck’ at ‘such visible horror’ of urban development, and the people who ‘think they discovered Hackney in 1975’ show, one aspect of the attachment to Hackney is to seek to protect the cultural capital it accrues by keeping this capital scarce.That is, something is only ‘edgy’ as long as most people still despise it (and the edgy people remain ahead of the crowd). Such a logic has been identified in more straightforward analyses of trends and marketing (see, for example, Thompson et al, 2006), but differs from the more general findings of studies such as Butler (1997), Butler and Robson (2003), May (1996) and Reay (2008), which uncovered a more explicit desire to enjoy observing ‘otherness’ while maintaining a definite distance from it.14

-The difficulty is that so many of these claims to Hackney and its myths are rooted in claims of certainty, certainty of being right and of others being wrong. Even complexity and flux become reified by appeals to ‘diversity’, or claims that Hackney has ‘always been a place of change’. The success of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics is widely attributed to its foregrounding of the internationalism and multiculturalism of East London (Vertovec, 2007, p 1025;Wetherell, 2008, pp 306-7). One of the central motivations for making the bid was to attract funding to this deprived area of the city (Evening Standard, 2008).

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-The local politicians and officers might benefit by ‘improving’ the place – in their careers and reputation as well as their community- minded goals. And the artists make (and recognise that they make) a good deal out of it too, as noted by Iain Sinclair above. Academics (including myself!) are, of course, no less exempt from this, with Hackney’s potency as an area of diversity and change, inequality and political history (and often personal associations) drawing a variety of scholars to produce studies embedded in the area.

The Birth of Gentrification’ – Loretta Lees:

 

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-Sociologist Ruth Glass coined term ‘gentrification’ in 1964 – ‘a slippery term, the problem being amplified by the preponderance of numerous alternative labels for gentrification’.

-NY and London as case study – ‘By choosing examples of classical gentrification from two different cities and countries, we demonstrate the necessary preconditions for gentrification and the contextual differences between these places’

-gentrification is an economic, cultural, political, social, and institutional phenomenon

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 -Ruth Glass used the term ‘gentrification’ to describe some new and distinct processes of urban change that were begin- ning to affect inner London; the changes she described are now known as those of ‘classical gentrification’

-Term – ‘rooted in the intricacies of traditional English rural class structure, the term was designed to point to the emergence of a new ‘urban gentry’, paralleling the 18th- and 19th-century rural gentry familiar to readers of Jane Austen who comprised the class strata below the landed gentry, but above yeoman farmers and peasants’

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-The term is also ironic in that it makes fun of the snobbish pretensions of affluent middle-class households who would still prefer a rural, traditional way of life if given the chance (just think of all those classic gentrifiers’ homes with stripped wood floors, Aga stoves, open fires, and natural wood and material furnishings).

-Glass identified gentrification as a complex urban process that included the rehabili- tation of old housing stock, tenurial transformation from renting to owning, property price increases, and the displacement of working-class residents by the incoming middle classes.

-1860’s – Hausman urban reforms in Paris – gentrification

-But the emergence of gentrification proper, we argue (contra Clark 2005), began in postwar advanced capitalist cities (Boston, NY, London…) – Post-war reconstruction in London (Urban planning, brutalist architecture…)

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-both the United States and the United Kingdom, for some time now, has refused to use the term ‘gentrification’, even when its policies were exactly that.

-Neil Smith: A number of other terms are often used to refer to the process of gentrification, and all of them express a particular attitude towards the process’. (ex: NY Homesteading)

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-Glass: the process by which working class residential neighbourhoods are rehabilitated by middle class homebuyers, land- lords and professional developers. I make the theoretical distinction between gentrification and redevelopment. Redevelopment involves not rehabilitation of old structures but the construction of new buildings on previously developed land.

-1980’s – the term ‘gentrification’ found in dictionnaries:

-The 1980 Oxford American Dictionary defined ‘gentrification’ as the ‘movement of middle class families into urban areas causing property values to increase and having the secondary effect of driving out poorer families’

-the 1982 American Heritage Dictionary defined it as the ‘restoration of deteriorated urban property especially in working-class neighborhoods by the middle and upper classes’.

-The 2004 American Heritage Dictionary has altered that definition only slightly: ‘the restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle class and affluent people, often resulting in displacement of lower-income people’.

-The 2000 Dictionary of Human Geography: gentrification The reinvestment of CAPITAL at the urban centre, which is designed to produce space for a more affluent class of people than cur- rently occupies that space. The term, coined by Ruth Glass in 1964, has mostly been used to describe the residential aspects of this process but this is changing, as gentrification itself evolves. (N. Smith 2000: 294; emphasis in original)

-As cities sought ways to reimagine themselves out of deindustrialization, urban water- fronts were redeveloped, hotel and convention complexes were built, and retail and restaurant districts developed. These were deliberately constructed as middle-class spaces in the central city.

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-Classical gentrification (original term used by Ruth Glass): disinvested inner-city neigh- borhoods are upgraded by pioneer gentrifiers and the indigenous residents are displaced. Working-class housing becomes middle-class housing.

-See case-study: Barnsbury, London

-As in the United States, the suburbanization of London was facilitated by the state. Abercrombie’s Greater London Plan (1944), which became the blueprint for the postwar reconstruction of London, institutionalized the valorization of the suburbs and the devalorization of the inner city. This was further entrenched by the 1952 New Town Development Act, which exported 30,000 Londoners to expanded towns such as Bury St. Edmunds. The properties they left behind rapidly went into multioccupation.

-In postwar London, the demand for housing was greater than the available supply, but the pressure caused by demand was differential throughout London. In Barnsbury the pressure was great due to its large stock of privately rented accommodation located minutes from central London.

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-The rapid tenurial transformation that occurred in Barnsbury between 1961 and 1981 is quite striking; owner-occupation increased from 7 to 19 percent, furnished rentals declined from 14 to 7 percent, and unfurnished rentals from 61 to a mere 6 percent (UK Census).

-Hamnett and Randolph’s (1986) ‘value gap thesis’ (see Box 2.2) emphasizes the political and institutional context shaping the actions of developers, landlords, buyers, and renters in central London at this time. It was the ‘value gap’ (the relation- ship between a building’s tenanted investment value and its vacant possession value, the former being a measure of the rented building’s annual rental income, and the latter a measure of the property’s future sale price when it is converted into owner-occupation—the landlord sells off the building when the gap widened sufficiently) and its attendant tenurial transformation that was the main ‘producer

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-The middle classes were a captive market, and building societies were releasing more funds to inner-city property. The turning point for Barnsbury was associated with the 1957 Rent Act, which decontrolled unfurnished tenancies during a time of increasing home ownership. Before the act, rents were controlled at an arbitrary level, and the act was introduced to alleviate the poor condition of housing and its poor investment value. It allowed the landlord to change the market price of any property let after the act, and those with security of tenure lost it if they moved out of their con- trolled tenancies. The act made it legal, in London houses with a rateable value of over £40, to give most rent-controlled tenants six months to quit after a standstill period of fifteen months, or they could increase the rent. As a result Barnsbury suffered many cases -of winkling, where tenants were forced to leave because of bribery and harassment.

-Rachmanism refers to the unscrupulous tactics of the landlord Peter Rachman, who operated in London in the 1960s (see Green 1979). His name is synonymous with winkling at this time. The Rachman exposé came out of the Profumo sex scandal of 1963, and led to the Milner Holland Report of the Committee on Housing in 1964. Land- lord David Knight was Barnsbury’s Rachman. He evicted a twenty-three-year- old teacher from her flat on Barnsbury Road. She had reported him to a rent tribunal to get her rent reduced, and in response he cut off her electricity, locked her out, and threw out her belongings.

-The Greater London Council (GLC) eventually jumped on the improvement bandwagon, too, and developed its own brand of ‘welfare win- kling’. A group of houses in Cloudsley Street and Batchelor Street were bought by the GLC for £90 each in 1966 and 1970, rehabilitated, and re-let to high- income tenants at £15 a week.

-Hamnett and Randolph’s (1986) ‘value-gap thesis’ (explaining why different parts of Barnsbury gentrified at different times) – In Barnsbury lease reversion assumed a particular importance for the gentrification process. Different properties in the area belonged to different landowning estates and their leases closed at different times, depending on when the estates were built. […]. the private landlords, who were to profit from the flat break-up in central London after 1966, when private rented flats were sold into owner occupation and gentrification. Developers and private individuals waited in anticipation. The London Property Letter (February 1970) circulated amongst estate agents referred to Barnsbury as a “healthy chicken ripe for plucking”

àGentrification process danger – private properties sold to individuals who take advantage of the situation of middle-class.

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-The 1969 Housing Act demonstrated a new commitment from government to rehabilitation instead of just renewal. The act provided local authorities with the power to allocate discretionary improvement grants. The improve- ment grants were £1,000 and £1,200 for conversions. As the grants had to be met pound for pound by the improver, they automatically favored the more well-off improver or developer and aided the gentrification process in Barnsbury. Initially there were no restrictions on the improvement grants; as such, a property could be sold immediately after rehabilitation/conversion with vast profits being realized. In 1971 56 percent of all Islington’s improvement grants went to the wards of Barnsbury and St. Peters, revealing the extent of renovation activity in the area at this time. Williams found that up to 90 percent of those properties sold by estate agencies in Islington in the 1960s were of rented property converted into owner-occupation. By 1972 nearly 60 percent of Barnsbury’s housing had been rehabilitated, and the new households consisted predominantly of middle-class owner-occupiers. House prices had risen significantly over this period: for example, a house in Lonsdale Square which had cost £9,000 in 1966 cost £18,000 in 1969 and £35,000 in 1972 (nearly a fourfold increase in just six years). In 1974 Islington Council placed restrictions on its improvement grants so that applicants had to remain in their improved property for at least five years after rehabilitation.

-Other government schemes which aided the gentrification process were the designation of parts of Barnsbury as a General Improvement Area and a Housing Action Area. The former aimed to encourage voluntary action in improving areas of private property by providing higher grants for properties and encouraging local authorities to undertake environmental improvements, and the latter sought rapid improvement through voluntary action by increasing the improvement grants allocated to these areas.

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-Space was one exemplar of class difference. Pitt (1977) mentions four houses in Lonsdale Square: two contained single-family middle-class owner-occupants, whilst the other two provided accommodation for forty-eight single working-class tenants in the furnished rented sector.

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-By the late 1970s, property speculation had dampened significantly as gentrification became firmly anchored in Barnsbury. In the 1980s, larger conversions were replaced by smaller-scale conversions, for example the conversion of single-family townhouses into one- or two-bed flats

-Case-study: Park Slope, New York City (skipped)

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Early Stage Models

-The early stage models of gentrification developed in the 1970s and 1980s to both explain the process and predict the future course of gentrification mirrored Glass’s definition of classical gentrification and generally described the changes as a filtering process in the manner of some of the early ecologists

-Clay (1979) produced one of the first major studies of gentrification– he found that private urban reinvestment had occurred in all of the largest U.S. cities in the late 1970s. Most of the American gentrified neighborhoods that he found were at least seventy- five years old, the houses were usually Victorian and occupied by working-class families, and some properties were abandoned.

-Stage 1: [A] small group of risk-oblivious people move in and renovate proper- ties for their own use. Little public attention is given to renovation at this stage, and little displacement occurs because the newcomers often take housing that is vacant or part of the normal market turnover in what is often an extremely soft market. This pioneer group accepts the risks of such a move.

Sweat equity and private capital are used almost exclusively, since conventional mortgage funds are unavailable. This first stage is well under way before it receives any public recognition, although even at this early stage the grapevine is spreading the word. The first efforts are con- centrated in very small areas, often two to three blocks. The first group of newcomers usually contains a significant number of design profession- als or artists who have the skill, time, and ability to undertake extensive rehabilitation. (In Boston, San Francisco and other cities, respondents suggested it was the homosexual community who made up the popula- tion. They seek privacy and have the money and the taste to take on this challenge. One observer suggested that “Smart money will follow homo- sexuals in cities.”)

-Stage 2: few more of the same type of people move in and fix up houses for their own use. Subtle promotional activities are begun, often by a few percep- tive realtors. Small-scale speculators may renovate a few houses in visible locations for resale or rental. Rarely does a large speculator come in at this stage, because capital for investors and residents is still scarce. Those who come in at this stage seek units that are relatively easy to acquire—vacant buildings owned by absentee landlords, city-owned or tax-foreclosed properties. Some displacement occurs as vacant housing becomes scarce. Those who come in stages one and two will later be considered the old-timers in this new neighborhood. If the neighborhood is to have its name changed, it often happens at this stage. New boundaries are identified, and the media begin to pay attention to the area… . In some neighborhoods mortgage money becomes available, but the loan is more often secured by other property, given by the seller, or given for a relatively low percentage of the total investment. Renovation spreads to adjacent blocks.

-Stage 3: At this stage major media or official interest is directed to the neighborhood. The pioneers may continue to be important in shaping the process, but they are not the only important ones. Urban renewal may begin … or a developer … may move in. Individual investors who restore or renovate housing for their own use continue to buy into their neighborhood. The trend is set for the kind of rehabilitation activity that will dominate. Physical improvements become even more visible because of their volume and because of the general improvement they make to the whole area. Prices begin to escalate rapidly.

Displacement continues. …

The arrivals in this third stage include increasing numbers of people who see the housing as an investment in addition to being a place to live. These newer middle-class residents begin to organize their own groups or change the character of the pioneers’ organization.

The organized community turns outward to promote the neigh- borhood to other middle-class people and to make demands for pub- lic resources. It turns inward to exert peer influence on neighbors and to shape community life. Tensions between old residents and the gentry begin to emerge. Social service institutions and subsidized housing are resisted with passion. Protective or defensive actions against crime are taken. If the new residents, especially the most recent arrivals, are less tolerant of lower or working-class behavior, these tensions may become serious. Banks begin to greenline the area, looking for spatial patterns of reinvestment and then making loans to middle-class buyers and investors within the limited area. …

The popular image of the process of change at this stage is clearly gen- trification and is treated as such by the media. The neighborhood is now viewed as safe for larger numbers of young middle-class professionals.

-Stage 4: larger number of properties are gentrified, and the middle-class con- tinues to come. What is significant about the new residents is that more are from the business and managerial middle class than from the profes- sional middle class. …

Efforts may be made to win historic district designation or to obtain other stringent public controls to reinforce the private investment that has taken place.

Buildings that have been held for speculation appear on the market. … Small, specialized retail and professional services or commercial activi- ties begin to emerge, especially if the neighborhood is located near the downtown or a major institution. Rapid price and rent spirals are set off. Displacement now affects not only renters but some home owners as well. Additional neighborhoods in the city are being discovered to meet the increasing demand of the middle class. While some controversy emerges, especially related to displacement, relatively little is done to dampen middle-class reinvestment.

-Clay based study on USA… And contra the new policy ideas about gentrification and social mixing in the United Kingdom and elsewhere stage 3 suggests not harmonious mixing but actual conflict!

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Gale (1979) formulated a classic gentrification model that underlined class and status distinctions between old and new residents in a gentrifying neighborhood. Gale’s model of classical gentrification emphasized population change in terms of the displacement of former working-class residents.

The gentrifier type is described by Gale as follows:

The most typical such household is childless and composed of one or two white adults in their late twenties or thirties. College educated, often possessing graduate education, the household head is most likely a professional or (less commonly) a manager. The annual household income … is likely to range between $15,000 and $30,000 (the US median was about $14,900 in 1977) with several resettlers earning more than $40,000. (1979: 295)

–> The differences between Clay’s (1979) and Gale’s (1979) stage models of gentrification indicate how different emphases and interests in gentrification research lead to different ‘pictures’ or ‘stories’ of the process

-one of the reasons that stage models of gentrification were developed was to cope with the temporal variations in gentrification that were already apparent in the 1970s. Gentrification stage models were designed to represent gentrification in an orderly, temporal, sequential progression.

The pioneer gentrifier works in the cultural professions, is risk oblivious, wants to pursue a nonconformist lifestyle, wants a socially mixed environment, and rehabilitates his or her property using sweat equity. Then more risk-conscious mainstream professionals move in, some with young families. Realtors and developers start to show an interest, and as property prices increase the original residents might be pushed out. Over time, older and more affluent and conservative households move in, attracted to what is now a safe investment. Eventually, gentrification is seen to stabilize at an endpoint of mature gentrification.

Rose (1984) was one of the first people to question the way that gentrifi- cation was being conceptualized. She was concerned about the generalized descriptions of typical gentrifiers and typical gentrified neighborhoods. Rose (1984) criticized stage models for lumping together different processes and effects; she preferred to see gentrification as a ‘chaotic concept’ in which different actors, housing tenures, motives, and allegiances coexisted. For Rose, ‘the terms “gentrification” and “gentrifiers” … are “chaotic conceptions” which obscure the fact that a multiplicity of processes, rather than a single causal process, produce changes in the occupation of inner-city neighbourhoods from the lower to higher income residents’

 

 

 

Conflict Group C: essay summary

The conflict of the Wits: how involvement in public conflicts influences social identities?

My essay presents the conflict between two eminent poets from the XVIIth century: John Dryden (nominated poet laureate by Charles II) and John Wilmot (The second earl of Rochester). I argue that the clash between John Dryden and John Wilmot evidences how social identities become endangered through one’s involvement in public conflicts.

First, I analyzed writings that the two literate belligerents exchanged to each other. I chose two poems, both published in 1675, in which the poets attacked each other through ad-hominem comments and elaborate literary criticisms. I analyzed John Wilmot’s An Allusion to Horace (1675) as a direct answer to John Dryden’s friendly dedication in his play Marriage-A-La-Mode (1673) – which opened with a passage from Horace. I subsequently presented John Dryden’s indirect response to the earl’s attacks in Mac Flecknoe (1675). By attacking another literate rival (Thomas Shadwell), John Dryden answered indirectly to the earl of Rochester’s criticisms. In fact, Thomas Shadwell served as a ‘stalking-horse’ for both Dryden and Wilmot in their mutual dispute. Through close-reading, I unveiled John Dryden’s covert attacks against his rival John Wilmot by relating Mac Flecknoe to his preface for All For Love (1678).

My analysis of the two primary poems was informed by my interpretation of John Wilmot’s portrait (1670) -displayed in room 7 of the National Portrait Gallery – which depicts John Dryden as a monkey. The odd portrait presents John Wilmot, in Roman tunic, tearing off the laurel adorning the animal’s head. I related the scene to the line from An Allusion to Horace: ‘Nor Dare I from his sacred temples tear / That laurel which he best deserves to wear’ (l. 80). In fact, (through a preterition), John Wilmot does tear off the laurel from Dryden’s temples in two ways: Through his portrait, and through his biting satire. John Dryden does refer to the portrait in Mac Flecknoe as well ! He refers to the Roman Empire in his riposte, implying that his rival is a ridicule arrogant poet, in complete opposition with the grandeur of  Roman culture.

I subsequently explored why and in what ways social identities are influenced by involvement in a public conflicts. The specificity of conflicts between public figures is that an audience comments on the belligerents methods (peaceful or violent), status (victim or attacker / winner or loser), and motivations for example. In the case of the clash between Wilmot and Dryden, their poems circulated widely after their publications. The audience commented and shared opinions, therefore shaping the two poet’s social identities. Indeed, I defined social identities as our social images, or reputations.

This feature of public conflict remains true in modern times: social identities are influenced through involvement in public conflicts. For example, the conflict between Tupac and Notorious BIG crystallized their social identities as Hip-Hop legends.