Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Demetrius Eudell

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis examines the history of redevelopment in Middletown, Connecticut, as a study of the way that racist and classist forms of categorical social knowledge have been made to shape the structure of Middletown society. This history is narrated by way of a study that compares the perspectives of the individuals associated with major Middletown institutions, who are largely White and middle class, to the perspectives of the primarily asset-poor people of color who are regularly subjected to redevelopment policies. This comparison is made primarily by way of primary source analysis, such as city planning documents, archival and personal interviews, and newspaper articles. Over the course of this history, the racism and classism encoded in the economic logic made to structure redevelopment by its largely White and middle class proponents has repeatedly enacted the displacement of communities of color in the downtown area. The perspectives of activists and other individuals from these communities make possible a reading that disrupts the normative White middle class point of view, as this continues to repeat the above historical pattern.

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