Gentrification in Russia: Making Sense of Neighbourhood Change (the Case of Southern Butovo, Moscow)

Gentrification in Russia: Making Sense of Neighbourhood Change (the Case of Southern Butovo, Moscow)

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Gentrification becomes a widespread urban phenomenon, typical for the bulk of West European and American cities. Post-socialist cities are exposed to gentrification as well. Moscow can be considered as a gentrifying city due to the intensive in-migration and current large-scale redevelopments as a prime goal of local urban policy agenda. To date, the sociological account of gentrification is indeed limited. Little has been done on studying subjective experiences of gentrification, the interaction between residential old-timers and newcomers and displacement. Consequently, there is no empirical evidence on the subjective experiences of gentrification in the Russian context, in particular.
This paper addresses the following research question: how gentrifiers and non-gentrifiers living together in a particular previously disadvantaged neighbourhood in Moscow make sense of gentrification and how gentrification affects them? To interpret it sociologically, we refer to the theory of the established and the outsider groups, introduced by Norbert Elias and John Scotson. We opted for a single case study research design. We selected Southern Butovo neighbourhood as a case. Firstly, it is generally considered to possess a historically low residential prestige. Secondly, it is the most affordable neighbourhood in terms of rental and property prices. Thirdly, Southern Butovo undergoes the formation of affluent gated communities. Methodologically, we rely on multiple data collection techniques, including semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation and archival records. In this paper, we primarily apply the narrative analysis of interviews and qualitative content analysis of archival data. The obtained results show how differently the Russian gentrifiers and non-gentrifiers make sense of gentrification in their neighbourhood with respect to the change in neighbourhood sensescapes and their collective we- and they-image.

Corresponding Author

Daria Dementeva

KU Leuven

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Daria Dementeva

KU Leuven

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Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

Second Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

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