Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

Gentrification – why does it always have to be about race?

Posted by chinesecanuck on June 17, 2008

Lots of “ethnic” neighbourhoods are now being gentrified, and many blogs, including a post on Racialicious today, seem to argue that it’s driving the old residents, mostly non-whites, out.  But is it always white people who are moving in?  Or is it a class issue?  Say they gentrify Toronto’s “old” (i.e. not Scarborough or Markham) Chinatowns by opening a T&T Supermarket.  This drives out the smaller grocery stores (who IMHO, are often on the brink of breaking health codes, if they haven’t already.  I won’t buy meat there.)  While T&T does have non-Asian (or rather, non-Chinese) clientele, the majority of those who shop there are of Chinese descent (or married to someone who is of Chinese descent).  It’s unlikely that Chinatown will be completely “white-washed.”  It’ll just be yuppified.  And one doesn’t need to be white to be a yuppie.


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