When the cool is not cool

Through a case of study about the spatial transformation of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, between the end of the 80s and 2005, this work aims to discuss the hegemonic ways of explaining the contemporary urban transformations that are derived from a discursive homologation around the concept of gentrification. My point is that gentrification, far from helping to clarify how those transformations occur, is hiding them behind an economic determinism that results insufficient —as well as tendentious— for understanding the complexity and the particularities of any specific process.

The proposal of this piece of research is dispensing with the frame of gentrification for deploying our gaze to the emergence of multiple heterogeneous associations, through tracking three trajectories that were assembled in the space wrote above. This is, thus, an exercise of analysis and decomposition of the urban that is more flexible, integrator and located. As a methodological strategy, I used the Actor-Network Theory as well as the Theory of Social Camps, proposed by Pierre Bourdieu.

Timeline of the main events of Williamsburg that I used for my piece of research

click on the image for resizing it

(This list will be updated periodically)

Table of contents

  1. The problem with gentrification
  2. LedisFlam
  3. The Bohemian
  4. Immersionism
  5. The Manhattanites
  6. The new hipster
  7. The new Williamsburg