Comment on ‘The Eviction of Critical Perspectives from Gentrification Research’


‘The eviction of critical perspectives from gentrification research’ offers the premise that scholars are becoming less critical of gentrification and that this trend is detrimental to those most vulnerable to gentrification. This argument falls short on a number of grounds. First, the article does not persuasively show that the scholarly literature on gentrification has indeed become less critical. More significantly, Slater does not consider perhaps the most important reason that gentrification can be accurately described in both critical and less than critical terms — gentrification’s impacts are multifaceted, affecting different people differently and even the same individuals in different ways. Finally, those most threatened by gentrification are likely to need a combination of resistance and persuasion to blunt the ill effects of gentrification. Slater’s call for more critical approaches may inspire some to resist, but will do little to persuade the larger society to take their concerns seriously. Given that those most threatened by gentrification are among the least powerful, their cause will most benefit from a combination of literature that inspires resistance as well as literature that persuades others that gentrification is truly a predicament. Therefore, literature that not merely criticizes gentrification but offers a rationale for blunting its detrimental effects is needed as well.