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Appears in:
Page: 5012 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2135

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

THREATENING THE ROOFS OVER OUR HEADS: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC INSTITUTION EXPANSION IN THE GENTRIFICATION AND DISPLACEMENT OF RESIDENTS IN ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED, URBAN COMMUNITIES

S. Thomas-El

Drexel University (UNITED STATES)
In 1977, the Housing and Community Development Act Public Law was amended in the United States, to encourage private investment in urban development. Long before this time, however, academic institutions were exercising their ability to claim spaces inside of poor urban neighborhoods in an effort to accommodate growing student populations. Many of these institutions receive the designation of 'anchor', based upon a perceived stabilizing effect they have on the communities that surround them. Similarly, Janoschka, Sequera, and Salinas, (2014) assert that government policies originating in Spain, have migrated to numerous cities in Latin America, resulting in urban development strategies that are designed to benefit societal elite. Academic institutions have played a crucial role in the altering of poor communities behind a narrative of the benevolence of expanding education. Universities benefit from the extension of their campus infrastructure into local residential areas, yet the surrounding neighborhoods suffer from the instability created by the displacement that ensues as a result of these encroachments. Citizens who are economically disadvantaged experience displacement from their communities as a result of the elements of gentrifying expansion efforts that are far beyond their control, giving rise to questions about what truly is the civic mission of education, when it fails to elevate the most marginalized members of society.

This is a conceptual writing that marries the theories of critical race and gentrification, in an effort to illuminate the displacing impact of academic institutions, and to elucidate the essential role of public policy in the determination of who is granted the rights to occupied spaces. In racialized societies, race will invariably be a determinant for the injustices and inequalities found therein. Nowhere is this more substantiated than in the U.S. where systemic racism is a foundational component of the nation, and in Latin American countries, where skin color determines social and economic classifications. The use of critical race theory as a framework is, therefore, an appropriate lens to explore the connection between educational expansion, and displacement and gentrification cycles instigated in poor communities. As a theory, gentrification is one of the few analytical frameworks in urban studies which provides a critical edge and theoretical coherence to physical and social change incorporating eviction, displacement, demolition and redevelopmentā€. Thus, it follows that individuals who exist on the margins of society will consistently find themselves disadvantaged where displacement and gentrification issues are concerned.

The ongoing necessity for higher education to remain competitive by developing innovative program offerings and employing greater numbers of faculty, are two reasons proffered when campus expansion initiatives become a consideration. However, university expansion in an urban setting is challenged by the static infrastructure of the surrounding homes and businesses. Increasingly the decision for expansion has been at the expense of residents, many of whom were born and raised in the area and have raised their families there as well. Inhabitants of the spaces find themselves in the untenable position of having to choose to uproot their lives or defend their right of occupancy against an entity that has both the determination and resources to acquire property inhabited property.
@InProceedings{THOMASEL2018THR,
author = {Thomas-El, S.},
title = {THREATENING THE ROOFS OVER OUR HEADS: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC INSTITUTION EXPANSION IN THE GENTRIFICATION AND DISPLACEMENT OF RESIDENTS IN ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED, URBAN COMMUNITIES},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.2135},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.2135},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5012}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Thomas-El
TI - THREATENING THE ROOFS OVER OUR HEADS: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC INSTITUTION EXPANSION IN THE GENTRIFICATION AND DISPLACEMENT OF RESIDENTS IN ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED, URBAN COMMUNITIES
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.2135
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 5012
EP - 5012
ER -
S. Thomas-El (2018) THREATENING THE ROOFS OVER OUR HEADS: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC INSTITUTION EXPANSION IN THE GENTRIFICATION AND DISPLACEMENT OF RESIDENTS IN ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED, URBAN COMMUNITIES, ICERI2018 Proceedings, p. 5012.
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