Gentrifier? Who, Me? Interrogating the Gentrifier in the Mirror


  • We encourage scholars willing to join us in further autoethnographic reflection to contact John Joe Schlichtman. Please direct correspondence to John Joe Schlichtman: by mail at Department of Sociology, DePaul University, 990 West Fullerton Avenue, Suite 1115, Chicago, IL 60614; by phone at 773-325-4093; by email at


Schlichtman and Patch suggest that there is an elephant sitting in the academic corner: while urbanists often use ‘gentrification’ as a pejorative term in formal and informal academic conversation, many urbanists are gentrifiers themselves. Even though urbanists have this firsthand experience with the process, this familiarity makes little impact on scholarly debate. There is, Schlichtman and Patch argue, an artificial distance in accounts of gentrification because researchers have not adequately examined their own relationship to the process. Utilizing a simple diagnostic tool that includes ten common aspects of gentrification, they compose two autoethnographic memoirs to begin this dialogue.