Centre for URBan research (CURB) ‌

Tickets

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Events

Joshua Kirshner

Mining and extractive urbanism: Postdevelopment in a Mozambican boomtown

Joshua Kirshner

Wednesday 27 May, 4pm, W/243

Simon Gunn

The Collapse of the Motor City Ideal in 1970s Birmingham

Simon Gunn

Wednesday 3rd June, 4pm, W/243

 

Richard Webber

The new “Alpha Territory”

Richard Webber, 4pm - 5.30pm, ARRC Auditorium, ARRC Building, University of York

You can find more information about this second CURB Annual Lecture here, and register for free here.

“Alpha Territory” is a term used by commercial sociologists to describe the neighbourhoods and lifestyles of Britain’s, and in particular London’s, super-rich.  It is also the title of a research programme, funded by the ESRC, which examines the disruptive impact of global wealth both on the neighbourhoods which were previously the preserve of traditional elites and also on the social practices which were once effective in conferring distinction on this group. The study investigates in detail the mechanisms that have evolved which have enabled accumulators of raw wealth to cquire the tastes and lifestyles that ensure their social acceptance by others who enjoy similar financial good fortune.

As a project participant I had initially supposed that the practices that we were investigating represented an entirely new set of phenomena.  Detailed analysis of historical and archival material for an elite London suburb and the arguments presented in Piketty’s “Capital” have led me to challenge this assumption. In this presentation I use the Highgate Village case study area to consider the respects which these new elites appear to be recreating social practices which were common in the suburb before 1914 and the respects in which we are witnessing the emergence of distinctly new phenomena.

Speaker bio

Richard Webber is the originator of the Mosaic and Acorn geodemographic classification systems, and is currently Visiting Professor in Geography at King’s College London.