Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gentrification, Neoliberalism and Place Displacement and Resistance in Flagstaff
by Garza, Jorge, M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2018, 189; 13423758
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis connects the lived experience of displacement to the greater paradigm of neoliberalism. The presence of neoliberalism is insidious and ubiquitous and yet even its existence is disputed in the literature. Neoliberalism is not only capitalism on steroids, bigger and in more places, but a new regime of logic that reduces human relations to profit, naturalizes competition and pushes responsibility onto the individual. Urban space in America and especially the process of gentrification, the reshaping of the built environment to facilitate profit, is a powerful space of expression of neoliberal policies in everyday life. Displacement is a violent and dehumanizing realization of the commodification of land. This research follows the lived experience of families displaced from a mobile home park in Flagstaff, Arizona. Residents received a letter of eviction a week before Thanksgiving of 2017 and the mobile home park was boarded up by July of the following year. Through in-depth interviews with the residents and participant observation in the ensuing movement to keep these families in their homes, this research compiles the lived experience of these individuals and provides an analysis of their situation. Paulo Freire argued that every person has the ability to understand and build solutions to their reality in them. This research hopes to illuminate the lived experience of neoliberalism, gentrification, and offer a powerful message of generative solidarity collaboratively distilled from the experience of the displaced residents.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stuart, Diana
Commitee: Fernandez, Luis, Quizar, Jessi
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Sustainable Communities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 58/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Sociology, Sustainability, Urban planning
Publication Number: 13423758
ISBN: 978-0-438-78802-2
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