Christi, Valerie, and Faith's Community Keyword Project
- 1 The Dynamics of Community Development
- 2 Introducing Gentrification
- 3 Class and Community
The Dynamics of Community Development
We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race. -Cicero
Community is a relationship, common people holding something in common, people of a district, a sense of common identity and relationships (75). It evolves from the word commune (Williams, 75). Williams states, “Community can be the warmly persuasive word to describe an existing set of relationships, or the warmly persuasive word to describe an alternative set of relationships” (76). Therefore, if we could possibly read into this definition we would also see that community is what we as individuals make of it. It could be a common group of individuals, a neighborhood or local watering hole. What happens when all of these things change? It is a transformation of a community network. It can have the positive thresh hold and a negative outcome. The key element is in the perspective of those that live within the shifting dimensions of the urban and rural environments. Due to this dynamic, it is dangerous and risky to make a claim about whether this transformation is good or evil. Our hope is that this page will show the many faces of the impact development can have within our communities, in order to give the reader the right to his or her own opinion. In addition, we hope that we can shed light on the possibilities for the development of community collaboration, due to these shifting environments and their impact on the surrounding individuals.
Keywords and Community, we would like to add that the demographic social structures based on economic prosperity and racial exclusion within community makes it difficult to engage in such a way that is not ridden with discouragement and social tension. Yet we are faced with the present positive tone to a changed community within the realm of community development . This is essentially the same as the terminology of gentrification yet turned into a positive tone of urban renewal which provides a progressive approach to community. Key elements that interconnect within both of these realms of clarification of community are capitalism, race, class, advocacy and democracy. In addition to this tension within community, there are historical, racial and political actions that perpetuate the ambiguities and difficulties constellating around this key term.
Introducing Gentrification, under this policy, municipalities were invited to target areas for renewal, demolish all substandard housing, and sell the cleared land to developers” ( 363).
However, a more positive approach to gentrification can be seen as community development. Community development is the process of urban planning as an organized and precise way. It is the political arena of strategizing the movement and creation of human living. It is the positive spin of gentrification that is seen and heard through popular medium.When examining both of these terms, there is a possibility that there are ways, in which the formations of housing developments and economic landscaping can become exclusionary, even when the intention is to boost economic growth and renewal. Yet the positives should show reflection as a means for community change. Democracy
Marcuse on Community Change
It is never mentioned that ethnic cultures are sometimes creating areas of living that appear more friendly to those within a certain race or a means that enforce a particular class of individual. However, that is a reoccurring factor within this realm of a changing community.
According to Peter Marcuse (1997), there are new patterns that are shaping the urban areas of today’s cities (311). Marcuse (1997) describes four different distinct areas: traditional ghetto, new ghetto, enclave and citadels (311). A traditional ghetto is an area of residence that is a “confinement of residents” and is desired by the dominant class of society because that confinement or control facilitates is a ripple effect into residents' activities, “activities that further dominant economic interests” (Marcuse,1997, 311). The new ghetto according to Marcuse (1997)is a “ghetto in which race is combined with class in a spatially concentrated area where residents' activities are excluded from the economic life of the surrounding society” (311). This new ghetto does not profit significantly from its presence, but is a barrier of confinement to its residents and controlled by “dominant interests out of fear that their activities, not controlled, may endanger the dominant social peace” (Marcuse, 1997, 311). An enclave is quite different in that its residents concentrate in a area are normally self defined by ethnicity, religion, sexuality and congregate as a way of enhancing their economic, social, political, and cultural development (Marcuse, 1997, 311).As listed above under changing views of domain and community, Peter Marcuse mentions the intentional change to live with individuals that share a common thread. Here is a website dedicated for the Queer Community.
A citadel is a concentrated area in which members of a particular group, defined by its position of superiority in class, power, wealth, or status in relation to their neighbors, live as a means of protecting or enhancing that position (Marcuse,1997, 311). It is assumed that the areas that are normally in the forefront of gentrification are the areas that are bought into by upper class individuals, essentially pushing out the lower class living within such an area.
This is a youtube video on our local (non)community tent city 4. How and who decides what and who gets to be a part of a community?
Class and Community
The American Dream seems to be harder to come to fruition than it used to be. It is true that you can still work your way to the top, and you can go to bed poor one day and wake up the next day and find yourself rich, but the “land of opportunity” seems to be disappearing. We buy weekly lotto tickets hoping that we will beat the extreme odds and somehow end up with something. Research has been showing that the separation between the poor and the rich is widening, and there is a debate among economists and sociologist as to why this is happening. One of the areas of the conversation stems around the fact that the wages at the bottom of the economic bracket are and have been stagnating for some time, while we have seen rapid growth at the top of the scale (Kenworthy, 2004). This is relevant to communities because “class inequality falls across wealth, income, occupation, education, consumption, and health” (Foster, 2006).
In the past many thought class did not exist in America, the idea is referred to as "American Exceptionalism"
In addition, we cannot be inclusive to just class when discussing effects of community development. We must bring into light the ever-changing dynamics of a cultural shift. It seems to be happening within the boundaries of cities walls. Yet as a community is developed physically, how can we state what one is more important than another? This development benefits some and runs the risk of displacing others. The responsibility lies with those involved in the process of development, possibly giving others who are impacted the right to voice opinions about the end result. They must be heard, or decisions could end negatively.
It is through these institutions that class advantages/disadvantages are transmitted. With this gap increasing and the institutions aiding the problem, we have a large new group of people staggering on the line of making it and barely making it. Researchers are referring to this group as the near poor. The only way to help the struggling poor communities and the near poor neighborhoods is to invest in the people and their neighborhoods. Katherine Newman and Victor Chen from the sociology department of Princeton and Harvard advise in an essay that this can be done by creating policies, and encouraging grocery stores, retailers, health institutions to come into the neighborhoods that need them the most (Newman, Chen, 2007). Collaboration
Displacement of Communities description of their experiences in the 19th century. The conquest of land through colonialism left the “savage” with nothing. He describes the ways that Europeans “dispersed their families, obscured their traditions, and broke their chain of memories” (1968, p.318). While Europeans viewed their actions as a form of “civilization”, the Natives fell victim to “civilization”, capitalization, and individualistic greed. Through this great national travesty, and relations with their future generation, we are seeing an important opportunity and need for academic study and research. Robert Warrior (2008) in Keywords for American Cultural Studies addresses the lack of scholarship and media attention as another problem equated with this community. As many tribal communities have experienced, Warrior sees Native Americans and their communities as a people who “are mostly invisible to the people with whom they share the world”(2008, 134). Warrior also brings up the importance of their visibility in academia. Warrior states, “Without Native American Literature there is no American Canon” (2008, 134). Their beautiful and culturally rich voices have been silenced, in not only the lack of academic research, but also the isolation they have experienced, due to the formation of reservations. If we are looking at the idea of community as an option for all to participate in, then we must give voice to those, like Native Americans, who have faced impossible odds trying to integrate or participate in their own environment as a result of racial and cultural discrimination.
Obama in Montana on Native American Community
Can Community Change Work?
Some scholars have challenged the question ‘does gentrification harm the poor?’ They would argue that it is a determinant in regards to whether gentrification results in a neighborhood that is original residents found preferable, if they were owners or renters (Freeman, 2008,186). If the residents were predominantly owners, they would stand to benefit from a rise in property values, especially those on low income (Freeman, 2008, 186). If their forced to leave their home, some could find themselves in an improved situation, where the results to gentrification would be an improved tax base that could improve neighborhood amenities and services; and offer changes in employment opportunities (Freeman, 2008, 186). One factor that does not change is the fact of displacement as referred to by our example to the negative impact it could have. | Community
Community Development Society. This link provides an example of hope for inclusion in the process of community change.
References and Working Bibliography
De Tocqueville, Alexis. "Democracy In America." Trans. George Lawrence, Mayer, J.P., ed. 2 vols. New York: Harper & Row, 1966. p 318.
Foster, John Bellamy. "Aspects of Class in the United States: An Introduction." Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. July - August, 2006.
Freeman, Lance. “Comment on 'The Eviction of Critical Perspectives from Gentrification Research.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 32n1. P 186-191. March 2008. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. University of Washington. 21October 2008 <http://www3.interscience.wiley.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/cgi-***bin/fulltext/119403664/main.html,ftx_abs>
Joseph, Miranda. “Community.” Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Ed. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York and London: New York University Press, 2007. 57-60.
Kenworthy, Lane. "The Unequal Society: Rising Inequality Not a Surge at the Top." Challenge. Sept - Oct, 2004.
Lampe, David. "The role of gentrification in central city revitalization.” National Civic Review. 82. n4 (Fall 1993): 363(8). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. University of Washington. 21 Oct. 2008 http://find.galegroup.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu
Marcuse, Peter. “The ghetto of exclusion and the fortified enclave: new patterns in the United States. (The Changing Spatial Order in Cities).” American Behavioral Scientist . 41. n3 (Nov-Dec 1997): p 311. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. University of Washington. 21 Oct. 2008 <http://find.galegroup.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu>
Newman, Katherine s. and Victor Tan Chen. "The Crisis of the Near Poor." The Chronicle of Higher Education. Oct 5, 2007.
Warrior, Robert. “Indian.” Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Ed. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York and London: New York University Press, 2007. 132-135.
Williams, Raymond. "Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society." New York, N.Y., Oxford University Press, 1985. p. 75-76.