Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Gentrification: The Death of Culture
There are many poignant points in this tragic novel, but I want to observe the how the act of gentrification can, and in this case does, kill culture. The reason the events of the book fall into place is because people want to develop the land for more profitable means, particularly an underwater zoo. This idea that land has no value beyond that of the monetary is part of the reasoning behind gentrification. Instead of seeing the land for its cultural importance including the homes and meeting house of this indigenous people, they see it as a tourism profit using the local marine life. With this land being taken over by modernity, the people have no choice but to adapt and lose much if not all of their culture, or they move, which they may not be monetarily able to do and if they can then they still risk losing their culture in a foreign place. This monetary aspect is in particular an issue in modern times as people will buy up areas in poor neighborhoods and build the area up with the fads of the day so that people with money will spend it there or even live there. This may seem like a great thing since the area will have more amenities and cash flowing into the area, but in actuality it raises the price of living so high that people living there have to move to another poor neighborhood and small businesses, which create a culture of their own, have to shut down. This is simply a legal, and often times favorably seen, way of killing off local culture in favor of a superficial capitalist driven pseudo culture that only a select few can truly fit and participate in. This act tries to progressively paint a single picture of a people/culture and as a result push any unfavorable groups into ghettos.