In debt to the rent gap: Gentrification generalized and the frontier of the future

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Abstract

In this paper I advance three interconnected arguments that explore the relation between gentrification generalized and the generalization of indebtedness. First, I show how the availability of credit liberates potential land values from social constraints. Second, I suggest that debt functions as a form of class discipline, imbuing the proliferation of gentrification with a coercive impetus. Third, I argue that the generalization of indebtedness should reframe the way that class is theorized in contemporary debates on gentrification. I conclude by returning to the rent gap model, arguing that it remains a vital tool for understanding gentrification, but only if its sense of time is blown wide open. Through these four strands, I argue that debt should change the way we think of gentrification, both as a concept to be explained and a process to be resisted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
VolumeN/A
Early online date3 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2020

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