PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (11): 1662-1669.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.11.009

• Urban Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impact of cultural capacity on gentrification and its consequences

WU Qiyan1, WANG Zhaojie2, LIU Yongmei3, WU Xiaohui1   

  1. 1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China;
    2. School of Geographical Sciences, Baicheng Normal College, Baicheng 137000, China;
    3. School of Biochemical and Environmental Engineering, Xiaozhuang College, Nanjing 211171, China
  • Received:2013-01-01 Revised:2013-09-01 Online:2013-11-25 Published:2013-11-25

Abstract: Middle-class is an intermediate group with similar social status and social identity, for example, in life style, value orientation, occupational characteristics, and self-perception. Becoming a middle class community (gentrification) in the process in which wealthy families choose to buy and renovate the properties in the areas near city center, resulting in the restoration and upgrading of the run-down urban neighborhoods and the displacement of lower-income people. The middle class often benefit from the improved inner city living environment because of the city government's renovation plans; the city government achieves the increase in revenue growth rate and total amount of growth, thanks to the middle class. It is clear that gentrification is not only a social process in which the middle class emerges at the level of social practice, but also a spatial process in which middle class migrate into the agglomerations in the upgraded inner city areas. This concept has been widely accepted in the western research community. However, controversy about the driving mechanism has long remained. Since the transformation of post-industry society, gentrification has become one of the key research topics on urban issues and spatial planning in the western countries, and as a global phenomenon, has expanded to the new industrialized countries and the emerging markets. In our opinion, gentrification has become a more and more significantly process with mixed characteristics. So it is necessary to discuss the revision that post-industrial cultural capacity of the middle class has made to the driving forces. After a brief overview of this theory, we discussed the impact on the socialization and spatial shift in gentrification again based on Pierre Bourdieu's concept of culture ability, and analyzed the differentiation of culture capacity. By reanalyzing the socialization and spatial shift, followed by a brief review of process and the phenomenon of gentrification, this paper expounds upon the influence of culture on the middle class, the two loops of socialization and spatial process. The author believed that culture ability becomes the most important capital after economic capability and material capital, and revised the double-circle path of gentrification, which separated the socialization and spatial shift from gentrification. So inner city will start to show the characteristics of fragmentation and lose the middle-class. Culture ability also contributes to the spatial shift in a society and socialization of middle-class in a space, and becomes the security of middle-class' reproduction.

Key words: cultural capacity, dual cycle path, gentrification, urban social space