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Between the cosmopolitan and the parochial: the immigrant gentrifier in Koreatown, Los Angeles

Deverteuil, Geoff ORCID:, Yun, Ohsoon and Choi, Carolyn 2019. Between the cosmopolitan and the parochial: the immigrant gentrifier in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Social and Cultural Geography 20 (1) , pp. 64-85. 10.1080/14649365.2017.1347955

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This paper questions the currently lopsided relationship between the cosmopolitan and the parochial, in which the former is favored both conceptually and empirically. In response, we propose a relational framework for bringing them into conversation, simultaneously recasting and re-animating longstanding debates via three framing devices – the process of relationality/territoriality, disposition, and spaces of encounter – embedded in and through the subject of the immigrant-gentrifier in Koreatown, Los Angeles, itself a novel category that has hitherto eluded systematic research. We present the results of 25 interviews of Korean immigrant-gentrifiers and 10 key informant interviews. The results constitute a parochial critique that emerges as a series of conflicted paradoxes but also productive tensions: between an ostensibly transnational process compromised by a profoundly homegrown, parochial set of investors and outlooks; between a set of dispositions that seek inner-city diversity and density, yet simultaneously sheltered from its spillover costs; and spaces of encounter marked by a gap between the promise of truly open spaces and the reality of guarded and self-segregated ones. Ultimately, this paper does double duty – conceptually rebalancing the cosmopolitan-parochial relationship, but in doing so empirically elevating the emergence of the understudied immigrant-gentrifier category.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1464-9365
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 30 May 2017
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 03:55

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