Saving "Black Portland": Organizational Roles in Responding to a Disintegrating Community
AuthorAddae, Angela Esi
AdvisorGalaskiewicz, Joseph J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGentrification is an emerging phenomenon that transforms the social, economic, and physical structure of urban neighborhoods across the nation. Using historically Black neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon as the setting, this project explores how neighborhood organizations employ diverse strategies to address the geographical dispersing of the cultural community that was once concentrated within their neighborhood. Though urban scholars have examined market-based gentrification, this dissertation assesses gentrification in a context that is predominantly state-led—that is, gentrification perpetuated by federal, state, and local urban redevelopment policies. Using in-depth interviews, content analyses, and GIS mapping, this dissertation identifies mechanisms employed by neighborhood organizations in “Black Portland” that complicate notions of community as spatial boundaries dissolve. This project explores neighborhood organizations along two dimensions: type (enterprises and institutions) and sector (for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid institutions). The data reveal that while neighborhood enterprises are predisposed to engage in the neutral, arms-length provision of goods and services, when faced with the displacement of longtime residents, neighborhood enterprises appropriate cultural symbols to access race-specific resources. On the other hand, neighborhood institutions are predisposed to reinforce community values, norms, and rules. Accordingly, when displaced residents fail to resettle in a concentrated area, neighborhood institutions invoke methods of physical expansion to remain engaged with displaced residents and to combat the ‘placelessness’ that former residents associate with gentrification. Similarly, the data show that neighborhood institutions that occupy different sectors adopt differing ‘post-gentrification’ strategies: nonprofit neighborhood institutions adopt a collaborative approach to survive gentrification, for-profit neighborhood institutions adopt an authenticity approach, and hybrid neighborhood institutions adopt a cross-subsidization approach. By expanding theoretical understandings of urban neighborhoods as socially organized, this dissertation contributes to existing literature by assessing the new and existing avenues utilized by Black neighborhood organizations to maintain community cohesion. The themes of “place” and “space” for cultural communities—or alternatively—the social, economic, and policy consequences of “placelessness” for cultural communities are prevalent throughout the narrative. Because neighborhood organizations form the core of urban neighborhoods, they are uniquely positioned to understand and respond to neighborhood change.
Degree ProgramGraduate College