Traficantes de Sueños
On this occasion I make use of the concepts of territorial stigmatisation (Loic Wacquant) and the rent gap (Neil Smith) to explore the loss of place in gentrifying contexts. I argue that there is an intense and direct relationship between the defamation of poor neighbourhoods and the process of gentrification, to the point where it becomes necessary to fuse these two concepts together in order to interpret and challenge the housing crises faced by people living at the bottom of the class structure in cities. I draw upon empirical data collected in one Edinburgh neighbourhood to illustrate how stigmatisation provided the groundwork and ideological justification for a thorough class transformation involving evictions, demolition, land clearance, and then the construction of housing and services aimed at a more affluent class of resident. The consequences of displacement are assessed with reference to the seminal work of Marc Fried (1963) in Boston’s West End. I also offer some thoughts on the political possibilities that emerge from the analytic scrutiny of displacement.