Geographies of discontent 1: Neighborhood change, gentrification, and displacement

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Astor Ballroom III, Astor, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Myrte Hoekstra, Fenne Pinkster
Chairs: Fenne Pinkster


In this session we would like to explore the geographical underpinnings of expressions of discontent. We start from the premise that people make sense of the world through place and want to investigate under which circumstances changes in everyday living environments may engender feelings of loss, marginalization, powerlessness, anxiety and resentment against ‘other’ social groups and/or governing institutions. Different literatures can provide insight in such emotional ramifications of spatial change. For example, concepts of discontent and resentment hold a central place in research on the growing support for parties and initiatives promising to defend the ‘common man’. These have been interpreted as both a political backlash against the erosive effects of global markets on local economies and as a cultural backlash against new migrant groups and urban elites espousing progressive values (e.g. Cramer, 2016; Duyvendak, 2011; Hochschild, 2016; Inglehart & Norris, 2016). Feelings of marginalization and loss also feature strongly in the literature on gentrification and place-based displacement of remaining working class residents who express nostalgia for past lives and worlds. Discontent has thus often been located within specific places and sections of the population, in particular, the white working class living in either large urban centers or national peripheries. Nevertheless, feelings of loss and resentment have also be observed amongst social groups not usually considered ‘losers of globalization’ (see e.g. Phillipson, 2007; Pinkster & Boterman, 2017). This challenges us to think beyond the classed underpinnings of discontent and explore the emotional – and possibly political – backlash of socio-spatial change.
For this session, we are particularly interested in papers that build upon and extend existing knowledge on the ramifications of socio-spatial change by considering who experiences discontent, how discontent manifests itself, and in what way it is shaped by concrete, everyday experiences of marginalization and feelings of becoming ‘out of place’. Papers in this session might explore how and why expressions of discontent – for example, but not limited to populist voting – are geographically unevenly distributed across the nation, the city and suburbs; how everyday experiences of social and spatial change may fuel such geographies of discontent; and how residents react or respond to such feelings in alternative and diverging ways.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Discussant Fenne Pinkster Universiteit Van Amsterdam 20 8:00 AM
Discussant Fenne Pinkster Universiteit Van Amsterdam 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Heike Hanhoerster*, ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Coping with socio-spatial change in super-diverse urban neighborhoods: The Case of Dortmund-Nordstadt/Germany 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Anne-Sophie Iotti*, RMIT/ KU Leuven, Housing Displacement in Australian Cities: A Brisbane Case-Study 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Ingmar Pastak*, University of Tartu, Negotiating Global Urban Trends and Lifestyles in the Field of Gentrification and Symbolic Displacement: How Eco-Lifestyle ‘Feeds’ Gentrification in Tallinn, Estonia 20 9:20 AM

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