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Title:Apartheid and resistance in the political economy of gentrification: The dialectics of black working-class struggles in Atlanta, Georgia, 1970-2015
Author(s):Wood III, Augustus C
Director of Research:Cha-Jua, Sundiata K
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cha-Jua, Sundiata K
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hogarth, Rana; Oberdeck, Kathryn; Mendenhall, Ruby; Barnes, Teresa
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black working class, political economy, gentrification, Atlanta
Abstract:This study serves as a critique of the political economy of the Atlanta Metropolitan Region between 1970 and 2015 through the lends of class struggle amongst African Americans. This dissertation argues that gentrification in U.S. cities must be understood as a dialectic of racial class struggle defined primarily through black working class collective resistance to urban reorganization. Second, this project argues that neoliberalization and subsequent gentrification in Atlanta served as a structural form of anti-poor black pogrom—the planned destruction or removal of a significant portion of a specifically defined group from a location. I contend that this intraracial class struggle is fundamental to contemporary black urban life and should be central to any analysis of racialized market societies. This dialectical relationship is intrinsically paradoxical and a prime contributor to contemporary apartheid in urban America and beyond. In this relatively new formation of racial oppression, poor black bodies and spaces disproportionately served as superfluous and malleable objects manipulated and reorganized predominantly through gentrification in the interests of capital accumulation. This conflict at the heart of the social construction of urban spaces determined the physical and social shape of Atlanta, the distribution of people, the allocation of resources, and the ways space and place were built, transformed, maintained, and disrupted. At its core, this study asserts that by understanding Atlanta and U.S. cities as sites of (intra)racial-class struggle over the production and maintenance of social space and globalized capital, African-Americanist urban scholars can more effectively explicate the fluid intraracial fissures in black neighborhoods that further complicate the urban structure.
Issue Date:2020-05-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Augustus Wood III
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-27
Date Deposited:2020-05

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