1. Dr. Sylvie Tessot’s lecture was on the gentrification of Boston, mainly focusing on the South end of Boston. She began her lecture giving us background information on Boston and how and why the South End of Boston began to be gentrified. Firstly, she looked at gentrification of this area starting in the mid-50s which people said contained five percent of the population, but ninety-five percent of the problems.
She made some association with City Hall and their willingness to give out loans beginning the start of Urban Renewal. She mentioned the historical society, which was formed in 1966, had a huge contribution towards the gentrification. She mentioned that in the south end there was appropriation taking place with the acceptance of diversity; however, no one really questioned it. She was intrigued by this school of thought and so the theme throughout the lecture was this idea of acceptance of diversity as the stigma in the neighborhood; however, she observed and concluded that the people were partially hypocritical. She observed two types of the people which were the “gentrifriers” and the “gentrified” and their relationship with another. She looked at the diversity in terms of social class: Lower class and middle class.
She broke the middle class into two parts: straight middle class and gay middle class and had an obvious interest with how sexuality defined diversity. She talked about the neighborhood association and stated that the majority of the members were middle class Caucasians. She also mentioned that although these people accepted the diverse nature of the neighborhood, (because of the disparity between middle class and lower class) they appreciated that the lower class blended into the neighborhood context. They. .hich category they belong in.
In order to understand the implications of gentrification and the pros and cons these two groups need to comprehend the mindset of the other. I believe the “gentrifiers” may be aware of how the “gentrified” perceive them; but for some reason believe the “gentrified” should conform to societal norms. This is evident when looking at the neighborhood association stating they enjoy the lower class blending into the neighborhood context. The “gentrified” perceive this as a notion for them to hit the hay, to leave the neighborhood in order to allow more middle class people to live in this location. This perhaps is why the “good neighbor” policy was set in place to make those within the lower class feel welcomed. However, to make this more successful, perhaps the association should directly inform the lower class individuals of the objectives.