TitleThe making of a waterfront suburb
NameLamarque, Johnelle (author), McCay, Bonnie J. (chair), Hodgson, Dorothy (internal member), Hughes, David (internal member), Haugerud, Angelique (internal member), Rudel, Thomas (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
New York Suburban Area
DescriptionThis dissertation is an ethnographic account of place-making in contemporary America. Here I examine and explicate the process of coastal gentrification underway in a New Jersey community and the form that is emerging from it, what I [call] a waterfront suburb. The construction of this kind of place combines elements of gentrification and suburbanization. I examine the place-making of Highlands, New Jersey, through the narratives that people created around their own experiences and how they imagined others, and through the values and social relations that emerged from and also shaped the borough's physical environment, economics, and histories. Class was a critical indicator of how informants related to the process, as was informants' tenure and geographic location in the borough. Also contributing to the construction of place were the event of a sewage spill that closed nearby commercial clam beds, the borough's recently revised Master Plan, and the everyday events that contributed to a process of coastal gentrification such as experiences with New York City commuter ferry traffic, local businesses and neighborly interactions.
In this research, I further suburbanization and gentrification studies by examining in one geographic locale the overlap and contrasts between those two processes. This advances a recent call to critique the dichotomization of city and suburb. I suggest that the construction of Highlands as a place of leisure and good views, a vacation spot for year-round living by the privileged classes, is a distinguishing feature of the waterfront suburb. While this aspect of the process underway in Highlands could also occur in any number of places inland, the process of coastal gentrification is further distinguished by the marine locale at which it occurs. This is because property rights regarding common pool resources may be more salient here than in inland areas. By examining how participants in the place-making of Highlands engage the coastal and marine environments in their actions and their rhetoric, this work expands the relatively young body of literature on coastal gentrification and proposes a new analytical lens, the waterfront suburb, through which to view the process.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 330-347).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.