Alternative Title

Understanding gentrification through the eyes of long-standing African American residents in West Oakland

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


African Americans-California-Oakland-Psychology, African American neighborhoods-California-Oakland, Gentrification-California-Oakland-Psychological aspects, West Oakland (Oakland, Calif.), Group identity, African American, Gentrification, Urban, West Oakland


The study was undertaken to understand how long-standing African Americans residents of West Oakland believe they can maintain community roots during processes of gentrification. A second major question was: What are the implications for community based social workers.

Snowball sampling and convenience sampling were the methods used to recruit participants for the study. Thirteen in-person interviews were conducted, regarding study contributors’ perceptions of the West Oakland neighborhood, neighborhood changes, and understanding of community roots and how to maintain them.

The major findings of the study were congruent with some previous research of gentrification as participants defined gentrification in terms of displacement. Respondents viewed unity as a way to maintain their community roots. Further research needs to be done to explore the connection of theories of root shock and ecological systems theory to understanding the impacts of gentrification on gentrified individuals.




iii, 79 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 65-67)

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