Transnational Gentrification: The Nexus between Lifestyle Migration/Residential Tourism and Gentrification

Studies of gentrification have sought to visualize the global or ‘planetary’ nature of the process, assessing how a term used in one local context (Great Britain in the 1960s, see Glass 1964), and how the process differs in distinct urban and cultural environments. Thus, gentrification studies have looked at cases in East Asia (Shin), and in Latin America (Janoschka).  However, there has been surprisingly little attention to cases of transnational gentrification, where foreign lifestyle migrants or residential tourists are involved in gentrification process (though see Cocola Gant 2016).

This session proposes attention to the transnational aspect of gentrification, and offers to build scholarly perspectives on how transnational tourism and lifestyle flows have affected the particularities of local spaces and the people who inhabit them. Lifestyle migration scholarship focuses on the migration, part-time or full-time, of relatively affluent people, most often from the global North (Benson and O’Reilley 2009). Residential tourism is more focused on people located closer to the tourist side on the tourism–migration axis (Huete and Mantecón 2011).

·       What are the local effects of transnational flows of relatively wealthy people?

·       How are notions of place transformed?

·       And also, how do notions of local culture get appropriated by higher paying foreign consumers, whose attachment to these cultures may be routed in essentializing or exoticizing traditions?

·       What are the connections between contemporary flows of lifestyle migrants/residential tourists and historical processes of coloniality (Quijano 2000)?

The transformation of place may include changes in housing markets, commerce and other aspects of community life, resulting in gentrification that is outspending and pushing out local populations. The nexus between lifestyle migration/residential tourism and gentrification brings together critical scholarship rooted in cultural sociology (looking at processes of individuation and cultural idealization of self-projects carried out through mobility) and political economy (more focused on structural, economic forces). We welcome theoretical and/or empirical contributions that bring together these bodies of literature in discussing transnational gentrification.

Dr Hila Zaban, Warwick University

Dr Matthew Hayes, St. Thomas University