Speculating upon San Francisco’s Futurity

McElroy, Erin. “Speculating Upon San Francisco’s Futurity: From Shell Company Evictions to Decolonial Action.” In Housing Displacement: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, edited by Guy Baeten, Carina Listerborn, Maria Persdotter, and Emil Pull, 97–112. Routledge, 2020.

This book examines reasons, processes and consequences of housing displacement in different geographical contexts. It explores displacement as a prime act of housing injustice – a central issue in urban injustices.  With international case studies from the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, India, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Hungary, this book explores how housing displacement processes are more diverse and mutate into more new forms than have been acknowledged in the literature. It emphasizes a need to look beyond the existing rich gentrification literature to give primacy to researching processes of displacement to understand the socio-spatial change in the city. Although it is empirically and methodologically demanding for several reasons, studying displacement highlights gentrification’s unjust nature as well as the unjust housing policies in cities and neighborhoods that are simply not undergoing gentrification. The book also demonstrates how expulsion, though under-researched, has become a vital component of contemporary advanced capitalism, and how a focus on gentrification has hindered a potential focus on its flipside of ‘displacement’, as well as the study of the occurrence of poor cleansing from a long-term historical perspective. This book offers interdisciplinary perspectives on housing displacement to academics and researchers in the fields of urban studies, housing, citizenship and migration studies interested in housing policies and governance practices at the urban scale.

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