Successful protect-community discourse: Spatiality and politics in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood

David Wilson, Jared Wouters, Dennis Grammenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protect-community movements across America are alive and well. The authors examine one such movement in a Chicago working-class neighborhood-Pilsen. They focus on a discourse oppositional to gentrification that has effectively mobilized space and historicity to speak its truths. The results reveal that diverse mental spaces were constructed and used in discourse to offer two critical constructions: positive resident identities, and developers as villains. Such spaces, grounding medium in the discourse, framed, organized, and illuminated these constructions. This visual rhetoric, Henri Lefebvre's representation of spaces, was a key ingredient in discourse. With actual and threatened opposition to gentrification, many developers formed a sense of a 'ready-to-rumble neighborhood'. Fears of virulent street tactics (that is, harassment of gentrifiers) most discouraged developers because they could make development projects risky.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1190
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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