Date

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Adviser

Beth-Johnson, Heather

Other advisers/committee members

Beck Pooley, Karen; Ceron-Anaya, Hugo

Abstract

This analysis aims to reveal the power dynamics that exist within communities between individual agents who control space looking at a downtown district in a city in eastern Pennsylvania. What are the ways in which agents involved in land use decisions use levels of social and economic capital to influence decisions and what are the consequences? Data was acquired through participant observation at city council and community meetings as well through semi-structured interviews with local planners, city officials, business owners and developers. Historical documents such as newspaper articles and city planning documents were also analyzed. Bourdieu’s field theory is applied to themes that emerged from the data, including the presence of a “Game-Changer” mindset, the tax-rateable mindset, the role of place and the value of community. Public policy recommendations are provided, offering a way to more equitably distribute resources within a community.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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