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Is Gentrification Another Form of Segregation?

Gentrification generally refers to the process in which wealthier people in an existing community enter into a new area inhabited by low-class people and take control of it in terms of economic development and the action of the whole area. It is mainly associated with wealthy people taking control of all activities in a particular area, which poor people previously related to improving their living standards. Segregation is the process of separating a group of people who have been living in a particular area for many years, only to be separated by intruders. The paper will examine if gentrification is another form of segregation in our society.

Gentrification has caused a lot of displacement among the inhabitants of a particular area as they bring new norms to the extent that the people are not familiar with. It leads to division among the individuals who had lived in the place for many years hence creating instability among them. Gentrification has led to the separation of native groups which had stayed in a home for an extended period and caused them to disperse in other areas in the society (Andersson, 2014). The displacement of poor residents by the wealthy intruders has caused a lot of conflict between the inferior group and the newcomers, which lies on economic lines. Gentrification has led to several negative impacts, including increased community conflict. The community causes a clash against the newcomers as they do not embrace them in society. The separation of people in the community increases the conflict as people start living with new people they had not been familiar with before hence growing tension between the groups. The separation leads to a more divided community with no close ties. The displacement of the people caused by gentrification leads to homelessness among the displaced group, making it challenging to access homes.

The people are forced to move to other areas which are safer for their securities where the people lose affordable housing, which they had lived in for many years. It causes a rift between the poor and the wealthy people in society as the poor fail to integrate well with the affluent group. The poor people are then displaced to more impoverished areas, whereby they cannot settle their monthly bills. The increased poverty levels among those people lead the youth to engage in criminal behaviors in search of financial stability. The social disorganization leads to a decrease in social order across the communities whereby the youth are the most affected by such happenings. Social disorganization has led to divorce in many families when the parents part ways. The children are the ones who suffer most, and this may expose them to more serious crimes as they become influenced by the other children who already have embraced the unethical behavioral change. A divorce between parents has led most of the children to be influenced by peer pressure and make them engage in criminal behaviors, which may also lead to the formation of gangs.

Social disorganization is influenced by gentrification, leading to an increased poverty rate in the community. It then leads to most children having no place to acquire better living standards and education. Lack of education among the youth leads to the early engagement of crimes and gangs as the child is not engaged for many hours during the day. Lack of education also leads to erosion of morals among the youth, which exposes them to heinous actions in society and the community (Andersson, 2014). The disorganization of individuals, families, or even the community leads to the moral decay of the youth as they fail to have better morals passed to them by the community due to a lack of functional integration between the groups. Youth violence in our country has increased as more adolescent groups join gangs due to peer pressure and other factors, including poverty, growing among the people.

Due to a lack of financial support from their new community, the youth join gangs for peer pressure, excitement, perceived financial gain, physical protection, and a family tradition. Many children sense economic benefits when an individual enters a gang group. They perceive that they would be getting paid for their gang activities. The grown-up people in the community mislead the youth to engage in gang activities in exchange for financial support, and when they join the group, they fail to get the financial support the gang members were telling the youth. It is a form of misleading whereby the youth are misguided due to a lack of the proper knowledge regarding gang operations in the country (Van Gent, 2020). The community needs to sensitize the child on the need to embrace education and increase integration in the community as this would lead to decreased rate of youth violence. The youth also join the gang group due to excitement which mainly occurs among the adolescent groups. The child gets excited to the point of having less self-control, whereby they end up joining the gang group for no known or specified reasons. The excitement among the youth needs to be controlled to facilitate a better community for the future whereby the community members would have better morals.

Segregation caused by gentrification leads to poor group ties as they no longer live with their previous friends due to the displacement caused by the wealthy newcomers. Due to this, some youth engage in criminal activities as they get influenced by their new family friends who may have joined the gang group before them (Van Gent, 2020). Many children have been affected by their immediate family members to join the gang, either for physical protection or financial support. It is mainly known that when people enter the gang group, they tend to have some training to help them physically protect against any of the attacks by their youth members. Domestic violence and relationship violence have increased due to the segregation caused by gentrification. It increases the rate of youth people committing most crimes and joining gang groups in the community for their selfish gains. Domestic violence has led to the separation of parents and guardians, making it difficult for children to access better education and health care services (Van Gent, 2020). The inability to access those social amenities leads the youth to engage in criminal activities to raise some financial ability to cater to the health care bills. The child may even engage in theft and shoplifting, which exposes them to many dangers such as being shot by police officers on duty. Lack of proper guidelines by the parents due to divorce has made most youths join gang groups and start engaging in heinous actions that may risk their lives.

Gentrification has some positive effects whereby it enhances development in the areas perceived to be poorly developed due to wealthy newcomers’ development plans. The segregation helps create land for development activities such as improved economic opportunity as the rich people create many business entities in the area. The development in the room leads to a decrease in crime rates as most people in the region are comprised of rich people, unlike the places where the poor people are displaced, which record an increase in criminal activities. The commercial development in the areas occupied by the wealthy newcomers leads to a general enhancement of economic rate in the entire community and region. Through all these analyses, gentrification is another form of segregation in society.


Andersson, R., & Turner, L. M. (2014). Segregation, gentrification, and decidualization: from public housing to market-driven housing allocation in inner-city Stockholm. International Journal of Housing Policy14(1), 3-29.

Van Gent, W., & Hochstenbach, C. (2020). The impact of gentrification on social and ethnic segregation. In Handbook of Urban Segregation. Edward Elgar Publishing.


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