Chapter 3 Beyond the elephant of gentrification: relational approaches to a chaotic problem
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This chapter argues for a relational approach to looking at the chaotic problem of gentrification. It rejects attempts to generalise gentrification, to link local and global, and earlier work on complementarity in gentrification theorizing; rather, it makes the case for a more earthly gentrification embedded in relational approaches such as assemblage, actor-network and intra-action theory, which it is hoped might open up new epistemic and methodological avenues for research on gentrification. Different from traditional approaches to gentrification, these radically relational theories are not predicated on the ‘internal relations’ of parts, wholes, scales and their contradictory dialectics but on ‘relations of exteriority’, which have a life of their own, reducible to neither parts nor wholes. It suggests an epistemological strategy of ‘counter-actualization’ and applies it to some very familiar themes of gentrification.

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