Hostname: page-component-594f858ff7-c4bbg Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-09T02:57:48.571Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "corePageComponentUseShareaholicInsteadOfAddThis": true, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

A tale of two cities: The discursive construction of ‘place’ in gentrifying East London

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 March 2021

Christian Ilbury*
Affiliation:
University of Suffolk, UK
*
Address for correspondence: Christian Ilbury University of Suffolk Department of English Neptune Quay Ipswich, IP4 1QJ, UKc.ilbury@uos.ac.uk

Abstract

In recent years, the East End of London has been dramatically transformed from a poor, working-class area, to one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods in the world. Adding to a growing body of research which examines the sociolinguistic dynamics of gentrifying neighbourhoods, this article draws on data from two ethnographic projects to examine how young people from the gentrified (i.e. working-class) and gentrifier (i.e. middle-class) communities index place attachment in East London. I demonstrate that for the gentrified community, place attachment is related to the ethnic and cultural genealogy of the immediate, local neighbourhood. Whilst for the gentrifiers, place identity is associated with the cosmopolitan economic and social opportunities of the city. I argue that whilst these communities occupy the same physical neighbourhood, these discourses suggest that they conceptually and socioculturally reside in two very different cities. (Gentrification, place, space, East London)*

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

Special thanks to Jessi Grieser and Kellie Gonçalves for inviting me to contribute to a panel on ‘Language and Gentrification’ at Sociolinguistics Symposium 22, where I presented an earlier version of this article. Thanks also to the audience of SS22 and at Research Seminars at Queen Mary University of London who provided invaluable feedback on this work. I am also extremely grateful to the reviewers and editors of Language in Society who provided detailed and incisive comments on earlier versions of this article. I alone am responsible for any remaining errors or shortcomings.

References

REFERENCES

Agha, Asif (2003). The social life of cultural value. Language and Communication 23(3/4):231–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Agha, Asif (2007). Language and social relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Anthony, Andrew (2018). Shoreditch: Is hipster heaven now falling prey to ‘cultural cleansing’? The Guardian. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jul/22/shoreditch-east-end-london-art-hub-big-business-gentrification; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Atkinson, Rowland, & Bridge, Gary (2005). Gentrification in a global context: The new urban colonialism. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
Banaś, Anna (2018). Analyzing belonging among Japanese immigrant women in The Netherlands. In Cornips, Leonie & de Rooij, Vincent (eds.), The sociolinguistics of place and belonging: Perspectives from the margins, 89112. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baro, Gilles (2017). The language of urban development in Johannesburg's inner city. Multilingual Margins 4(1):4052.Google Scholar
Bourdieu, Pierre (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
Bourdieu, Pierre (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bridge, Gary (1994). Gentrification, class, and residence: A reappraisal. Journal of Society and Space 12(1):3151.Google Scholar
Bridge, Gary; Butler, Tim; & Lees, Loretta (2011). Mixed communities: Gentrification by stealth? Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Britain, David (2016). Sedentarism and nomadism in the sociolinguistics of dialect. In Coupland, Nikolas (ed.), Sociolinguistics: Theoretical debates, 217–41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brown-Saracino, Japonica, & Rumpf, Cesraea (2011). Diverse imageries of gentrification: Evidence from newspaper coverage in major U.S. cities, 1986–2006. Journal of Urban Affairs 33(3):289315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bucholtz, Mary (2001). Reflexivity and critique in discourse analysis. Critique of Anthropology 21:165–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butcher, Melissa, & Dickens, Luke (2016). Spatial dislocation and affective displacement: Youth perspectives on gentrification in London. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 40(4):800816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butcher, Melissa, & Dickens, Luke, & Thomas, Mandy (2003). Ingenious: Emerging youth cultures in urban Australia. Melbourne: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
Butler, Tim, & Hamnett, Chris (2011). Ethnicity, class and aspiration: Understanding East London's new East End. Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butler, Tim, & Hamnett, Chris, & Robson, Garry (2003). London calling: The middle classes and the remaking of inner London. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
Buttimer, Anne (1976). Grasping the dynamism of lifeworld. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 66(2):277–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campkin, Ben (2013). Remaking London: Decline and regeneration in urban culture. London: I. B. Tauris.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cheshire, Jenny; Fox, Sue; Kerswill, Paul; & Torgersen, Eivind (2008). Ethnicity, friendship network and social practices as the motor of dialect change: Linguistic innovation in London. In Ammon, Ulrich & Mattheier, Klaus J. (eds.), Sociolinguistica: International yearbook of European sociolinguistics, vol. 22, 123. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.Google Scholar
Christensen, Ann-Dorte (2009). Belonging and unbelonging from an intersectional perspective. Journal of Gender, Technology and Development 13(1):2141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cornips, Leonie, & de Rooij, Vincent (2018). Introduction: Belonging through linguistic place-making in centre-periphery constellations. In Cornips, Leonie &de Rooij, Vincent (eds.), The sociolinguistics of place and belonging: Perspectives from the margins, 116. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cotter, William M., & Valentinsson, Mary-Caitlyn (2018). Bivalent class indexing in the sociolinguistics of specialty coffee talk. Journal of Sociolinguistics 22(5):489515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coupland, Nikolas (2010). The authentic speaker and the speech community. In Llamas, Carmen & Watts, Dominic (eds.), Language and identities, 99112. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davidson, Mark, & Lees, Loretta (2005). New-build ‘gentrification’ and London's riverside renaissance. Environment and Planning 37:1165–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dodd, Vikram (2019). Met police ‘disproportionately’ use stop and search powers on black people. The Guardian. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/26/met-police-disproportionately-use-stop-and-search-powers-on-black-people; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Duszak, Anna (2002). Us and others: Social identities across languages, discourses and cultures. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Erbacher, Eric C. (2011). (Re-)constructing the ethnic neighborhood: Gentrification in the United States and the longing for a unique identity. In Kaltmeier, Olaf (ed.), Selling ethniCity: Urban cultural politics in the Americas, 245–60. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Fox, Susan (2015). The new Cockney: New ethnicities and adolescent speech in the traditional East End of London. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Gates, Shivonne, & Ilbury, Christian (2019). Standard language ideology and the non-standard adolescent speaker. In Wright, Clare, Harvey, Lou, & Simpson, James (eds.), Voices and practices in applied Linguistics: Diversifying a discipline, 109–26. York: White Rose University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glass, Ruth (1964). London: Aspects of change. London: MacGibbon and Kee.Google Scholar
Goncalves, Kellie (2018). The semiotic paradox of gentrification: The commodification of place and linguistic fetishization of Bushwick's graffscapes. In Peck, Amiena, Stroud, Christopher, & Williams, Quentin (eds.), Making sense of people and place in linguistic landscapes, 141–60. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
Greater London Authority (2020). Excel mapping template for London boroughs and wards. Online: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/excel-mapping-template-for-london-boroughs-and-wards; accessed August 20, 2020.Google Scholar
Grier, Sonya A., & Perry, Vanessa G. (2018). Dog parks and coffee shops: Faux diversity and consumption in gentrifying neighborhoods. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing 37(1):2338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hackney (2019). London Borough of Hackney: Third local implementation plan (2019–2022). Online: https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/streetscene/lip/results/lbh-thirdlocalimplementationplan2019-2022.pdf; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Hegelund, Allan (2005). Objectivity and subjectivity in the ethnographic method. Qualitative Health Research 15(5):647–68.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Howarth, Caroline (2002). ‘So, you're from Brixton?’: The struggle for recognition and esteem in a stigmatized community. Journal of Ethnicities 2(2):237–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hubbard, Phil, & Lees, Loretta (2018). The right to community? Legal geographies of resistance on London's gentrification frontiers. City 22(1):825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hwang, Jackelyn (2015). Gentrification in changing cities: Immigration, new diversity, and racial inequality in neighbourhood renewal. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 660(1):319–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ilbury, Christian (2020). Beyond the offline: Social media and the social meaning of variation in East London. London: Queen Mary University of London doctoral thesis.Google Scholar
Index of Multiple Deprivation (2007). Ministry of housing, communities and local government. Online: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/5ceb7e93-bc1a-48cf-80fd-fbdd15909640/index-of-multiple-deprivation-score-2007; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Index of Multiple Deprivation (2015). Ministry of housing, communities and local government. Online: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-indices-of-deprivation-2015; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Irvine, Judith T., & Gal, Susan (2000). Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In Kroskrity, Paul V. (ed.), Regimes of language: Ideologies, polities, and identities, 3584. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.Google Scholar
Jackson, Emma, & Butler, Tim (2015). Revisiting ‘social tectonics’: The middle classes and social mix in gentrifying neighbourhoods. Journal of Urban Studies 52(13):2349–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnstone, Barbara (2004). Place, globalization, and linguistic variation. In Fought, Carmen (ed.), Sociolinguistic variation: Critical reflections, 6583. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Johnstone, Barbara (2013). Speaking Pittsburghese: The story of a dialect. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kallin, Hamish (2018). The state of gentrification has always been extra-economic. In Albet, Abel & Benach, Núria (eds.), Gentrification as a global strategy: Neil Smith and beyond, 4353. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Kelly, Sinéad (2014). Taking liberties: Gentrification as neoliberal urban policy in Dublin. In MacLaran, Andrew & Kelly, Sinéad (eds.), Neoliberal urban policy and the transformation of the city: Reshaping Dublin, 174–88. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
Kohn, Mary (2013). What is wrong with gentrification? Journal of Urban Research and Practice 6(3):297310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krzyzanowski, Michal, & Wodak, Ruth (2011). The politics of exclusion: Debating migration in Austria. London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
Labov, William (1963). The social motivation of a sound change. WORD 19(5):273–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lees, Loretta (2016). Gentrification, race, and ethnicity: Towards a global research agenda? City and Community 15(3):208–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lees, Loretta; Slater, Tom; & Wyly, Elvin K. (2008). Gentrification. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
Mendick, Robert, & Johnson, Andrew (2002). Eight men shot dead in two years. Welcome to Britain's Murder Mile. The Independent. Online: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/eight-men-shot-dead-intwo-years-welcome-to-britains-murder-mile-662314.html; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Milani, Tommaso (2020). No-go zones in Sweden: The infectious communicability of evil. Language, Culture and Society 2(1):739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Montgomery, Chris, & Moore, Emma (2017). Language and a sense of place: Studies in language and region. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Munt, I. (1987). Economic restructuring, culture, and gentrification: A case study in Battersea, London. Journal of Economy and Space 19(9):1175–97.Google Scholar
Palen, J. John, & London, Bruce (1984). Gentrification, displacement, and neighborhood revitalization. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Papen, Uta (2012). Commercial discourses, gentrification and citizens’ protest: The linguistic landscape of Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. Journal of Sociolinguistics 16(1):5680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pratt, Andy C. (2018). Gentrification, artists and the cultural economy. In Lees, Loretta & Philips, Martin (eds.), Handbook of gentrification studies, 346–62. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
Preece, Siân (2009). Posh talk: Language and identity in higher education. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rampton, Ben (2006). Language in late modernity: Interaction in an urban school. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rayner, Alex (2018). Gentrification's ground zero: The rise and fall of Hoxton Square. The Guardian. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/14/hoxton-square-london-shoreditch-aviva-gentrification-yba-damien-hirst; accessed August 17, 2020.Google Scholar
Relph, Edward (1976). Place and placelessness. London: Pion.Google Scholar
Ribbens-Klein, Yolandi (2017). Locality, belonging and the social meanings of Afrikaans rhotic variation in the South Cape: From patterns of frequency towards moments of meaning. Multilingual Margins 4(1):726.Google Scholar
Robson, Garry, & Butler, Tim (2001). Coming to terms with London: Middle-class communities in a global city. Journal of Urban Studies 38(12):7086.Google Scholar
Saumarez Smith, Charles (2017). East London. London: Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar
Smith, Neil (2002). New globalism, new urbanism: Gentrification as global urban strategy. Journal of Antipode 34(3):427–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tedlock, Barbara (1991). From participant observation to the observation of participation: The emergence of narrative ethnography. Journal of Anthropological Research 47(1):6994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trimaille, Cyril, & Gasquet-Cyrus, Médéric (2013). Sociolinguistic change in the city: Gentrification and its linguistic correlates in Marseille. In Jones, Mari C. & Hornsby, David (eds.), Language and social structure in urban France, 133–50. Abingdon: Legenda.Google Scholar
Trinch, Shonna, & Snajdr, Edward (2016). What the signs say: Gentrification and the disappearance of capitalism without distinction in Brooklyn. Journal of Sociolinguistics 21(1):6489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tuan, Yi-Fu (1991). Language and the making of place: A narrative-descriptive approach. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 81(4):684–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Weesep, Jan (1994). Gentrification as a research frontier. Progress in Human Geography 18(1):7483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Wilsem, Johan; Wittebrood, Karin; & De Graaf, Nan Dirk (2006). Socioeconomic dynamics of neighborhoods and the risk of crime victimization: A multilevel study of improving, declining, and stable areas in The Netherlands. Journal of Social Problems 53(2):226–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vandenbroucke, Mieke (2018). Multilingualism, urban change and gentrification in the landscape of a Brussels neighbourhood. Multilingua 37(1):2552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watt, Paul (2013). ‘It's not for us’: Regeneration, the 2012 Olympics and the gentrification of East London. City 17(1):99118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wolfram, Walt (1993). Ethical considerations in language awareness programs. Issues in Applied Linguistics 4(2):225–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yuval-Davis, Nira (2006). Belonging and the politics of belonging. Patterns of Prejudice 40(3):197214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar