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A Neighborhood That Never Changes

Newcomers to older neighborhoods are usually perceived as destructive, tearing down everything that made the place special and attractive. But as "A Neighborhood That Never Changes" demonstrates, many gentrifiers seek to preserve the authentic local flavor of their new homes, rather than ruthlessly remake them. Drawing on ethnographic research in four distinct communities - the Chicago neighborhoods of Andersonville and Argyle and the New England towns of Provincetown and Dresden - Japonica Brown-Saracino paints a colorful portrait of how residents new and old, from wealthy gay homeowners to Portuguese fishermen, think about gentrification. The new breed of gentrifiers, Brown-Saracino finds, exhibits an acute self-consciousness about their role in the process and works to minimize gentrification's risks for certain longtime residents. In an era of rapid change, they cherish the unique and fragile, whether a dilapidated house, a two-hundred-year-old landscape, or the presence of people deeply rooted in the place they live. Contesting many long-standing assumptions about gentrification, Brown-Saracino's absorbing study reveals the unexpected ways beliefs about authenticity, place, and change play out in the social, political, and economic lives of very different neighborhoods.
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About the Author

Japonica Brown-Saracino is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and a faculty fellow in the Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola University Chicago.


"A Neighborhood That Never Changes offers a sophisticated reinvention of the classic community study by emphasizing how local residents interpret contemporary economic and political forces through the lens of culture and the imagination of authenticity. Brown-Saracino's intellectually ambitious and entertaining book adds to the burgeoning literature on gentrification by slicing through some of the assumptions of the field with empirical rigor." - David Grazian, University of Pennsylvania"

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