Urban Gentrification In Urban Areas

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As major cities around the United States are dealing with an increase in poverty, crime rates, pollution and lackluster public school systems, politicians and economist have pushed for urban gentrification. Seen as a means to reinvigorate cities, urban gentrification benefits the affluent citizens flocking towards city neighborhoods from the suburbs, rather than the poor citizens already living there. Therefore, urban gentrification is legitimatized through social conflict theory as the wealthy are taking possession of impoverished city neighborhoods through the exploitation of the poverty stricken residents. The divide between social classes and the allure of redevelopment projects is most evident within cities such as Washington, D.C. A …show more content…
“The rich and mighty people can behave like “robber barons” because they make the laws and because they control law enforcement” (Bystrova & Gottschalk, 2015). Wealthy individuals in power such as politicians, economist and private sector entrepreneurs look at urban gentrification as a means to possess the scarce land resources found in cities. “When economic resources equate to power, then conflict and competition between groups will occur for scarce resources such as education, house and jobs” (Bystrova & Gottschalk, 2015). In the case of the urban gentrification of South East, D.C., its close proximity to the federal government buildings in Washington, D.C. makes it a gold mine for federal government workers wishing to move out of the suburbs in order to forgo long commutes. Therefore, those benefitting from South East’s gentrification possess an ideology that values the land for its convenience and not the people that are currently residing there in poverty. Many within society perceive urban areas such as South East as places that have remained economically stagnant by their own choosing. “According to conflict theory, economic inequalities and repression lead to deviant behavior” (Bystrova & Gottschalk, 2015). In South East, this deviant behavior can be translated into high rates of crime and a war against the poor through the use of law enforcement. “Laws, law breaking and law enforcement are factors that evolve from and contribute to social conflicts, and strengthen the dominant position of powerful individuals” (Bystrova & Gottschalk, 2015). Urban gentrification has then also become a tool to wage war against the poor through an economical base. Furthermore, if politicians and private sector entrepreneurs sought to create revitalization rather than gentrification in areas such as South East, D.C., current residents would have their socioeconomic standings greatly improved

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