Giovanni Semi

Il quartiere che (si) distingue. Un caso di "gentrification" a Torino

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This paper explores the significance of urban renewal in an inner city neighbourhood. Several points are made out. First of all the shift from a fordist conception of the inner city to a new one, characterised by its "ethnic" or "traditional" discourse and representation. Then, the interactive side of this shift is taken into account, as well as the nature of some of the most relevant forms of interaction, namely those who cope with the "consumption of difference". Young gentrifiers, old residents and immigrants all take part of this change, some of them learning how to sell their own "culture", others understanding how to incorporate difference in their own life-style. The result is an enduring tension between the quest for cultural authenticity and the daily coping strategies with difference.

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