Social cohesion in gentrifying working class neighbourhoods in Amsterdam-North

Linda van de Kamp , Saskia Welschen

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Abstract

We analyze how ‘original’ residents in different gentrifying working class areas in Amsterdam North experience and evaluate the changes in their neighborhood in terms of social cohesion – in other words, whether they feel at home in their changing neighborhood and whether they feel connected to other residents. Policy interventions often focus on establishing connections between residents with different socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds, in order to stimulate mutual understanding. An underlying policy aim is to uplift vulnerable original residents through contact with higher income groups. Based on our empirical data, we critically assess the concept of ‘bridging capital’ (Putnam, 2000) that underpins several of the social activities that are organized in areas such as the ones in our study. Subsequently, we discuss the importance of ‘bonding capital’ or the sense of interconnectedness and strong ties amongst original residents. Our empirical data – based on both interviews and participatory observation – suggest that activities within the ‘own’ community contribute importantly to feelings of belonging in the neighborhood. In the final section of the article, we discuss how different types of local meeting places offer opportunities for ‘lighter’ forms of interactions without aiming directly at strong connections between differently positioned neighborhood residents.
Translated title of the contributionSocial cohesion in gentrifying working class neighbourhoods in Amsterdam-North
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)366-389
JournalBeleid en Maatschappij
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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