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invasion and succession

  A term adopted from ecology to describe a process of neighbourhood change whereby one social group succeeds another in a residential area. The term is particularly associated with the zonal model developed by the Chicago school of sociologists in the 1920s, according to which change was initiated by pressure on inner-city housing, usually from low socioeconomic status immigrant groups. They moved into adjacent residential areas, forcing the current occupants to move out into the next zone, stimulating a rippling process of change outwards from the city centre which ended with the highest status groups on the edge of the built-up areas moving to newly built homes on the urban fringe (cf. filtering). As with much of the other ecological work of the Chicago School, the concept was influenced by Darwinian ideas (Entrikin, 1980; cf. Social Darwinism).

The process of invasion and succession, frequently associated with an ethnic minority group\'s movement into an area (cf. blockbusting), thus involves changing the characteristics of many of the city\'s natural areas. Its idealized form suggests periods of equilibrium in the urban residential pattern punctuated by episodes of wholesale change, but in most cities the processes are continuous, though substantially speeded-up in some districts at particular times. (RJJ)

Suggested Reading Entrikin, J.N. 1980: Robert Park\'s human ecology and human geography. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70: 615-32. Knox, P.L. 1995: Urban social geography: an introduction, 3rd edn. London and New York: Longman. Ley, D.F. 1983: A social geography of the city. London and New York: Harper and Row.



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Other Terms : mimesis | performativity | local knowledge
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