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The Space for Class? On Class Analysis in the Study of Gentrification

Gary Bridge
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Vol. 20, No. 2 (1995), pp. 236-247
DOI: 10.2307/622434
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/622434
Page Count: 12
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The Space for Class? On Class Analysis in the Study of Gentrification
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Abstract

A call for the consistent application of class analysis to the issue of gentrification. Acknowledging the continued primacy of work in class structuration, the paper concentrates on the determinations between class and residence at three levels of abstraction (mode of production; social formation; conjuncture). Three critical moments of the realization of class relations are identified at the three levels of abstraction: between speculator-developers and all inner-urban residents as gentrification is 'sanctioned' as a form of revalorization; petit-bourgeois entrepreneurial and rentier activity within the social formation; and, exceptionally, class action between middle-class and working-class residents. A full appreciation of the multiple determinations of class on gentrification and the effect of residence on class constitution must incorporate labour-market and workplace relations as well as an expanded view of residence to encompass the whole metropolitan area. The complex and contradictory realizations of the class relation posited by this method of abstraction reveal a robustness and subtlety which make it a more a promising basis than recent non-essentialist contributions for the retheorization of class and space.

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