Residents of Gifford Park have used memories of the past—characterizing this place as violent—to celebrate their present place and identity. Whereas memory scholars have highlighted how people remember the past in nostalgic, idealized ways to cope with an uncertain present and future, this case study illustrates how remembering the past as especially dangerous grounds material changes for an idealized present and can assuage guilty feelings for a potentially-gentrified future. Additionally, I show how long-term field work can reveal slowly unfolding patterns of material rhetoric that shape the identity of community members and impact the narratives that they construct.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics