Seminar : Gentrification and High Status Immigration in a Jerusalem Neighbourhood

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Dr. Hila Zaban (SOAS) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Israel Institute (SOAS). She received her PhD from Ben Gurion University.

Date : Wednesday 21st January 2015 3-5pm

Location : Goldsmiths College  RHB 144

Dr Zaban’s presentation deals with the Baka neighbourhood in Jerusalem and its processes of gentrification, combined with high-status immigration of Jews from Western countries. The main research question asks how changes in Baka’s population influence and reflect spatial and cultural changes in the neighbourhood. Although based in Jerusalem, a city with a very unique character, this research is really about the urban experience in a neoliberal era. The Baka case-study also shows how gentrification processes are not only led from below but are also influenced by municipal, governmental and planning authorities. The ethnography reveals the links between Baka’s gentrification and spatial and cultural changes. Such changes are reflected in the housing market, the religious sphere, modes of development in local services and trade and the pattern of public participation in neighbourhood affairs. Baka provides an example of the slow, dynamic and complex nature of certain types of gentrification.  It is also a case-study that combines gentrification, immigration and religion, which has not been studied much, although it exists in many other places.

Michaela Benson is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths College.

For further information m.benson@gold.ac.uk

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