Title

When Bourgeois Utopias Meet Gentrification: Community and Diversity in a New Urbanist Neighborhood*

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2019

Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Scholars have recently begun to explore how social and politically liberal gentrifiers make sense of the classed and racial inequalities linked to gentrification. In this article I ask how residents of one new urbanist “bourgeois utopia”—the Mueller Development in Austin, Texas—experience and give meaning to their neighborhood in a context of gentrification. Drawing on 31 in-depth interviews I explain how new urbanism has reimagined and marketed “diversity” and “community” to middle-class and wealthy consumers and provides these to affluent people as neighborhood amenities. I show how residents draw on diversity ideology and multicultural capital to neutralize what they see as their neighborhood’s role in gentrification. In doing so this article adds to our theoretical understanding of how contemporary urban development exploits pursuits for the social good as rhetorical tools to assuage privileged guilt while promoting profitable enterprises.

Publication Name

Sociological Spectrum

Volume Number

39

First Page

194

Last Page

213

Issue Number

3

DOI

10.1080/02732173.2019.1645065

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