Ethnic Minority Perceptions and Experiences of Gentrifying Neighbourhoods in London and Practices of Resistance

  • Beatrice Tura

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Social inequality is intrinsic to gentrification and academic research has demonstrated that this makes ethnic minorities particularly vulnerable to the process, exposing them to the risk of displacement. However, how they might continue living in gentrified space has not been deeply investigated. This study does so, exploring the lived experiences of individuals daily responding to the challenges of gentrification. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon geography, anthropology, sociology, cultural, urban and visual studies, it develops conceptual and methodological tools that highlight the dynamic nature of place, refute essentialist views of ethnicity and privilege ethnographic and visual methods to attend to the multidimensional and diverse nature of everyday lived experience. The thesis is based on 18 months of fieldwork, including participant observation and participatory interviews, with people of Caribbean and Latin American heritage in Notting Hill and Elephant and Castle (London), respectively. The analysis of the data revealed that the participants’ strategies to resist displacement are complex, shifting and ambiguous; they may not always entail antagonism to gentrification, but sometimes exploitation of its underlying market dynamics. For instance, on the one hand, participants present themselves as agents within the gentrification market. On the other, they mobilise discourses around their being victims to gentrification. These strategies challenge the notion of ethnic minorities as universal, homogenous, victims of gentrification, foregrounding instead diverse and complex agencies. Yet, while enabling some people to stay put, these strategies are both exclusive and precarious and show that resistance to gentrification, and not just the process itself, can enhance social inequality. These findings thus open us to a more complex comprehension of both ethnic minority experiences of gentrification and their resistances to it. On their basis, this study suggests that gentrification scholars attend to diverse lived experiences through appropriate tools to contribute to the development of feasible resistances.
Date of Award29 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorAnnabel Tremlett (Supervisor), Jacqueline Priego Hernandez (Supervisor) & Angela Crack (Supervisor)

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