The search among urbanites for that ideal “authentic” neighborhood, rife with rustic brownstones, a diverse, culturally robust population, artisans, galleries, vendors, mom-and-pop shops, and familiar pubs pulsating with local music, has not only become banal, it’s destroying the very “authenticity” being pursued. So confirms the research of Sharon Zukin, a professor of sociology at CUNY, who discusses her look into the history and effects of New York City’s pattern of gentrification in today’s Big Think interview.
The stream of hipsters (which, per the SoHo model, gradually turns to young professionals, then the occasional lawyer, then hedge-funders) “pioneering” new neighborhood with a more classic, chain-store-less urban feel harms the areas both by dramatically driving-up the cost of living and generating a new and oppressive ideal of taste.
As Zukin explains, the logic of gentrification is almost absurdly self-defeating, as the hunt for authenticity is inevitably followed up with lobbies for new zoning laws, and Starbucks, condos, IKEAs, and strangely hip sushi bars begin to pop up awkwardly alongside the newly formed monuments of counter-culture.
Zukin also outlines the historic pace of gentrification and why it has accelerated so dramatically since the 1980’s and provides a fascinating description of the social dynamics that have shaped the history of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
What do the inventions of the future look like?
- Self-sustaining space colonies and unlimited fusion energy would bring humanity to a new point in our evolution.
- Flying cars and robot butlers could be the next paradigm shift in our tech appetite for change.
- Death and consensus reality might soon become obsolete.
A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.
- Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
- If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
- It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
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