Kirsteen Paton (University of Leeds) is presenting on 21st October to the Sociology Department as part of the Seminar Series run by Laurie Hanquinet.
Poverty Porn' to 'Property Porn'?: Housing austerity and the logic of value in land and people
The logic of capital ostensibly commodifies every aspect of our lives: this is evident no more so than in our relationship with land. The distinctly urban nature of the economic crisis has surfaced gross inequalities. While glib, if media representations of class are dubbed ‘poverty porn’ we might refer to this gratuitous commodification of land as ‘property porn’. Land value is a key form of capital and so the management of (working-class) places and people forms a crucial part of neoliberal governance. ‘Problem people’ ‘problem places’ are cast as deviant and recalcitrant barriers to neoliberalisng processes and are submitted to the logic of capital and rationalising discourses. Here, the value of land and the (de) value of people coalesce. This paper draws from research in Glasgow in different neighbourhoods with different regeneration projects – one pre-crisis, one post-crisis – and under different governments. This comparison reveals the evolution of state-led gentrification and its wider and deeper impacts and how this project matures. This involves devaluing the poor to achieve a revalorisation of land values and as means of governance – the crucial axis where territorial stigmatisation and gentrification meet.