Date of Award

4-20-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Katherine B. Hankins - Chair

Second Advisor

Jeremy Crampton

Third Advisor

Parama Roy

Abstract

This thesis examines the role of racialized practices in the discourses and processes that alter place identity. Drawing on ethnography from the East Village of Buckhead, a once vibrant nightlife district in Atlanta, I examine how discourses of danger, colorblindness, and the race card have been employed to “whitewash” the discussions about the redevelopment of the Village. In effect, the business and civic elite of Atlanta (and Buckhead) deployed racialized conceptualizations of group identity. In particular, they utilized “public safety” discourses to influence the Atlanta city government to support the redevelopment effort. This led to the elimination of the establishments that attracted African American partygoers in large numbers. Using interviews with government agents, night club operators, and Buckhead civic and business leaders, combined with archival analysis of newspaper accounts, I implemented a hybrid content-discourse analysis to explore the ways in which the discourses of race and place concerning the East Village changed between 2000 and 2008.

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