A tale of two cities: The discursive construction of 'place' in gentrifying East London

Christian Ilbury*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In recent years, the East End of London has been dramatically transformed from a poor, working-class area, to one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods in the world. Adding to a growing body of research which examines the sociolinguistic dynamics of gentrifying neighbourhoods, this article draws on data from two ethnographic projects to examine how young people from the gentrified (i.e. working-class) and gentrifier (i.e. middle-class) communities index place attachment in East London. I demonstrate that for the gentrified community, place attachment is related to the ethnic and cultural genealogy of the immediate, local neighbourhood. Whilst for the gentrifiers, place identity is associated with the cosmopolitan economic and social opportunities of the city. I argue that whilst these communities occupy the same physical neighbourhood, these discourses suggest that they conceptually and socioculturally reside in two very different cities. (Gentrification, place, space, East London).
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage in Society
Early online date22 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • East London
  • gentrification
  • place
  • space


Dive into the research topics of 'A tale of two cities: The discursive construction of 'place' in gentrifying East London'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this