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In Session: Mediating State-Society Relationships Across China, Korea, and the Philippines
1: Rethinking Displacement: The Challenge of Gentrification and ‘Un-homing’ in a Disadvantaged Neighborhood in South Korea
Friday, March 26, 2021
3:00pm – 4:30pm EDT
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, United States
This research examines the experiences and perceptions of residents in low-income urban neighborhoods undergoing displacement induced by tourism. Gamcheon Culture Village (GCV) in Busan, South Korea, is a daldongne: disadvantaged neighborhood located on the hillside. GCV has turned into a tourist destination after the public art project was introduced as part of culture-led urban regeneration. As a result of the project, the neighborhood has experienced unwelcoming tourism-induced neighborhood change. Drawing on governmental documents, media coverage, and ethnographic research of participant observation and interviews, this research unfolds how the seemingly sound urban regeneration projects have accompanied changes in everyday practices and emotional changes in GCV. Also, it investigates the extent to which urban tourism in GCV can be understood as a gentrifying process. The findings reveal that contrary to the general understanding that the growth of tourism is displacing communities (Cocola-Gant, 2018), the direct physical displacement of residents has been limited, as well as spatially concentrated in areas close to the main tourist thoroughfare. However, indirect displacement in the sense of displacement pressure and “un-homing” has a more widespread and complex presence within the community, affecting residents and business owners in different ways.