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The emergence of enclaves of wealth and poverty: A sociological study of residential differentiation in post-communist Poland
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the fall of communism, some crucial political, economic and social changes have been taking place in the former communist societies. The objective of the thesis is to examine the processes of residential differentiation taking place in the urban landscape of the Polish city of Gdańsk after the introduction of the capitalist system. The focus is on different forms of residential differentiation and the social, economic and historical factors behind these forms. The empirical material that forms the basis of the thesis consists of interviews, newspaper articles, a questionnaire, official (national and local) reports and documents.

Study I examines the way in which different social, economic, historical and physical conditions coincide in the formation of space and the processes of decline in the period of transformation in Poland. The focus lies on a specific residential area in the center of Gdańsk and the lack of improvements in this particular area, which would stop its successive decline.

Study II explains the emergence of gated communities in the post-communist urban context and discusses the reasons for their increasing numbers and popularity. The main argument is that the popularity of gated communities is tightly intertwined with the communist past, emerging in reaction to the housing conditions that prevailed under communism.

Study III investigates how social class markers are constructed in the discourse on gated communities in post-socialist Poland. The “new” capitalistic system, with its inherent social divisions, is described in the discourse as creating demands for “new” forms of housing, where gates function as separators, protectors and class identifiers.

Study IV concentrates on the support for the formation of gated communities in the legal and regulatory framework in Poland since 1989. The paper asserts that the outcome of liberal politics and legal regulation in the country is the neglect of spatial planning and imprecise urban policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2011. , 98 p.
Series
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 50
Keyword [en]
residential differentiation, gated communities, Poland, post-communist cities, revitalisation
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56066ISBN: 978-91-8607-168-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-56066DiVA: diva2:408851
Public defence
2011-05-20, MB 505, Södertörns högskola, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2011-04-28 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Decline and revitalization in post-communist urban context: a case of the Polish city of Gdansk
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decline and revitalization in post-communist urban context: a case of the Polish city of Gdansk
2008 (English)In: Communist and post-communist studies, ISSN 0967-067X, Vol. 41, no 3, 359-374 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how different social, economic, historical and physical conditions coincide in the formation of space and processes of decline in the period of transformation in Poland. The focus lies on a specific residential area in the centre of the Polish city of Gdansk and the question why no improvements have been done in this particular area to stop its successive decline. It is among other things argued that clear urban policy together with improved urban planning and clear legislation on ownership are needed in order to improve conditions in this and other deprived areas of the city.

Keyword
Post-communist cities, Decline, Revitalization, Urban planning, Urban policy, Civil society
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56001 (URN)10.1016/j.postcomstud.2008.06.002 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2011-04-07Bibliographically approved
2. The emergence of gated communities in post-communist Poland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The emergence of gated communities in post-communist Poland
2010 (English)In: Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, ISSN 1566-4910, E-ISSN 1573-7772, Vol. 25, no 3, 295-312 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article considers the emergence of gated communities in the post-communist urban context and discusses the reasons for their increasing numbers and popularity. Narrowing in on a Polish city, the description focuses on the forms that gated communities take and on who the residents are, as well as their motives for moving into gated housing. Other explanations for the emergence of gated communities are reviewed. Interviews with residents of gated communities, a questionnaire, and previous studies on the topic form the basis of the material used in the study. It is argued that the motives for moving to gated communities are tightly intertwined with the communist past. While Polish gated communities are obviously an effect of the spatial planning and the housing market at the national and local level, they are also emerging in reaction to the housing conditions prevailing under communism.

Keyword
Gated communities, Post-communist cities, Spatial planning, Housing, Privatization, Poland, Gdansk
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56003 (URN)10.1007/s10901-010-9189-2 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2011-04-07Bibliographically approved
3. Gated Communities and the Construction of Social Class Markers in Postsocialist Societies: The Case of Poland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gated Communities and the Construction of Social Class Markers in Postsocialist Societies: The Case of Poland
2010 (English)In: Space and Culture, ISSN 1206-3312, E-ISSN 1552-8308, Vol. 13, no 4, 421-435 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to analyze how social class markers are constructed in the discourse on gated communities in a postsocialist urban context. The case of Poland is used as an example of a post-Communist country where the number of gated communities is increasing rapidly in urban areas. The material of study consists of 50 articles published in the largest national newspaper. This article argues that the discourse on gated communities is constituted by and constitutes class divisions and social class markers prevalent in the country since the fall of Communism. The "new" capitalistic system with its inherent social divisions is described as creating demands for "new" forms of housing where gates function as separators, protectors, and class identifiers. Residential differentiation is a reality in Polish society, and private space has become a symbol of exclusivity and spread throughout the country along with the popularity of gated forms of housing.

Keyword
gated communities, post-Communist societies, social class markers, discourse, Poland
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56002 (URN)10.1177/1206331210374140 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2011-04-07Bibliographically approved
4. The rise of gated neighborhoods in Poland: legal and regulatory framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The rise of gated neighborhoods in Poland: legal and regulatory framework
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This article examines the support for the formation of gated communities in the legal and regulatory framework in Poland established since the fall of Communism in 1989. The focus is on how government policy with regard to spatial planning and housing, together with the law on property and ownership, affects the emergence and development of gated forms of housing in the country. The article argues that the outcome of liberal politics and legal regulation in the country is the result of a disregard for spatial planning and imprecise urban policies. Existing spatial plans are of a consultative nature and bear no regulatory capacity at the same time that spatial planning in the country is strongly in favor of landowners and new construction. In light of the present urban disarray, gated housing is an indirect result of neglected urban politics combined with loopholes in the regulations and pro-construction policies, which create a favorable environment for housing developers.

Keyword
gated communities, urban planning, legislation, privatization, post-Communist cities, Poland
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56004 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-04 Created: 2011-04-04 Last updated: 2011-04-07Bibliographically approved

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