Gentrification in an Urban Church: Reproducing Segregation in a Neighborhood Institution
Luncheon Colloquium - RSVP required
Erick Berrelleza, S.J., Boston University
This lecture will discuss the intersection of neighborhood change and parish reconfiguration in rapidly-gentrifying Charlestown, MA. The merger of two Roman Catholic churches has unsettled the congregational cultures, just as gentrification is unsettling broader neighborhood dynamics. Based on findings from 28 in-depth interviews and participant-observation conducted from October 2014 - May 2015, the project examines the spatial reproduction in the sanctuary of the existing neighborhood segregation of Latinos and the poorest longtime residents from the housing projects. Affluent newcomers and “Townies” – stalwart residents who have weathered earlier waves of neighborhood upscaling – form power alliances with the effect of the exclusion of the poorest residents in the shared space of this religious institution. Institutional decisions, the desire to maintain ethnic enclaves, and tacit messages of group exclusion reify the race and class divisions of the neighborhood within the walls of the church.
Monday, October 15 at 12:00pm to 1:15pm
24 Quincy Rd., 100
Boston College, 24 Quincy Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA