ABSTRACT

The increasing importance of cultural politics for cities, which is accompanied by a revaluation of downtown areas and the development of centrally located residential neighborhoods for the (often white) upper middle class, massively impacts the sociospatial stratification as well as the social and cultural participation of lower class sectors, which are often ethnically marked in the Americas. After the socalled “white flight” of the white middle class into the suburbs, downtown city centers became subject to processes of ethnicization and pauperization. However, depending on the economic situation, processes of inner-city gentrification have also increased since the 1980s. First formulated in the United States in the 1960s, the concept of gentrification refers to the displacement of less affluent population groups by those enjoying a higher social status-the “gentry”—during the development over time of centrally located urban neighborhoods.