First Advisor

Daniel M. Sullivan

Term of Graduation

Fall 2005

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology






Gentrification -- Oregon -- Portland, Cultural property -- Oregon -- Portland, Neighborhoods -- Oregon -- Portland, Portland (Or.) -- Race relations, Alberta Arts District (Portland, Or.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 182 pages)


This study takes a cultural perspective in studying the "Alberta Arts District," a gentrifying neighborhood in Northeast Portland in which bohemian cultural production/consumption has become the dominant and commodified vision of the community. Survey data demonstrates residents' general opinions and levels of participation in the changing neighborhood. Forty long-time residents, black and white, homeowners and renters, are interviewed in-depth regarding their perceptions of change. Long-time residents of gentrifying neighborhoods are often overlooked as a less powerful group that only has to negotiate rising rents and property values. This study approaches the meaning of neighborhood changes for long-time residents who have the potential to react culturally, socially, and economically in a neighborhood where racial and economic differences are structured by segregation and divestment. In the course of identifying positive, negative, and mixed feelings about changes, long-time residents also establish their belonging in the neighborhood as it changes around them. This is often done through constructing symbolic boundaries around newcomers, new businesses, and new cultural events in the neighborhood. This study finds that although most long-time residents perceive changes to be positive, race and homeownership affect different outcomes for different groups. Particularly, long-time black residents may establish belonging as being black in a diminishing black community, whereas long-time white homeowners may establish belonging by being homeowners in the context of positive changes.


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