Gentrification, Race, and Immigration in the Changing American City
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CitationHwang, Jackelyn. 2015. Gentrification, Race, and Immigration in the Changing American City. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation examines how gentrification—a class transformation—unfolds along racial and ethnic lines. Using a new conceptual framework, considering the city-level context of immigration and residential segregation, examining the pace and place of gentrification, and employing a new method, I conduct three sets of empirical analyses. I argue that racial and ethnic neighborhood characteristics, including changes brought by the growth of Asians and Latinos following immigration policy reforms in 1965, play an important role in how gentrification unfolds in neighborhoods in US cities. Nonetheless, these processes are conditional on the histories of immigration and the racial structures of each city.
The first empirical analysis uses Census and American Community Survey data over 24 years and field surveys of gentrification in low-income neighborhoods across 23 US cities to show that the presence of Asians and, in some conditions, Hispanics, following the passage of the 1965 Hart-Celler Act, contributed to early waves of gentrification. The second empirical analysis introduces a method of systematic social observation using Google Street View to detect visible cues of neighborhood change and integrates census data, police records, prior street-level observations, community surveys, proximity to amenities, foreclosure risk data, and city budget data on capital investments. The analysis demonstrates that minority composition, collective perceptions of disorder, and subprime lending rates attenuate the evolution of gentrification across time and space in Chicago. The third analysis uses similar data in Seattle, where segregation levels are low and minority neighborhoods are rare, and shows that a racial hierarchy in gentrification is evident that runs counter to the traditional racial order that marks US society, suggesting changing racial preferences or new housing market mechanisms as Seattle diversifies. By deepening our understanding of the role of race in gentrification, this dissertation sheds light on how neighborhood inequality by race remains so persistent despite widespread neighborhood change.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:23845428
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