Institutions, Agency, and Microscale Gentrification: A Tale of Two Neighborhoods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent institutional analysis of gentrification has focused on the dialectical interplay of structure and manager choice. A shortcoming of this work is its treatment of managers as subordinate to structural factors. This study clarifies the role of managers by describing the organizational influence of individual agency. An analysis of gentrification in Indianapolis demonstrates: (1) managers import into and generate from within goals which intersect with organizational directives: (2) institutional contexts are instrumental in facilitating gentrification, and (3) random events propel the localization of such contexts. Human agency forges institutional support which itself structures the unfolding of gentrification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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