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Claiming NeighborhoodNew Ways of Understanding Urban Change$
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John J Betancur and Janet L Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040504

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040504.001.0001

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Selling the Neighborhood

Selling the Neighborhood

Commodification versus Differential Space

(p.123) Chapter 6 Selling the Neighborhood
Claiming Neighborhood

John J. Betancur

Janet L. Smith

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores various efforts to “sell” neighborhoods as well as the construction and destruction of community through commodification. Using as examples Paseo Boricua in Humboldt Park and Halsted North (Boys Town) in Lakeview, it shows how particular ethnicities or lifestyles have been appropriated by cities and capital to be commodified and consumed. It also considers how some residents benefit while others confront the daily realities of continuous displacement and impoverishment created by the commodification process. While forces within Paseo Boricua and Halsted North carved out differential spaces, the chapter argues that commodification has transformed them into spaces for sale and what they represent—gayness and Puerto Ricanness. These cases illustrate the openings, dynamics, and contradictions involved in neighborhood change.

Keywords:   neighborhood, commodification, Paseo Boricua, Halsted North, displacement, impoverishment, differential space, gayness, Puerto Ricanness, neighborhood change

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