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Hipsters on Our High Streets: Consuming the Gentrification Frontier

Hubbard, Philip (2016) Hipsters on Our High Streets: Consuming the Gentrification Frontier. Sociological Research Online, 21 (3). ISSN 1360-7804. (doi:10.5153/sro.3962)

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Abstract

Gentrification involves the displacement of working class populations, a phenomena most obviously manifest in the transformation of residential landscapes. But this is also palpable in the changes visible on many shopping streets, with locally-oriented stores serving poorer populations and ethnic minorities being replaced by 'hipster' stores such as 'real coffee' shops, vintage clothing stores and bars serving microbrews. These stores have been taken as a sign that the fortunes of struggling shopping streets are improving, with the new outlets often depicted as offering a better range of healthy, green and 'authentic' consumption choices than the shops they displace. However, this paper argues that we need to resist this form of retail change given it typically represents the first stage of a more thoroughgoing retail gentrification process, remaining suspicious of forms of hipster consumption which, while aesthetically 'improving' local shopping streets in deprived areas, actually encourage the colonisation of neighbourhoods by the more affluent.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5153/sro.3962
Uncontrolled keywords: Gentrification, Urban Policy, Retail, Class Conflict, Hipsters
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Depositing User: Phil Hubbard
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2016 19:51 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:44 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/56935 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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