Detroit has experienced a significant amount of change through the past few decades with the abandonment of the auto industry and the 2013 bankruptcy. The residents who have stayed through the good and bad have a significant pride and loyalty in the city of Detroit. Within the past few years, there has been a significant push by nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and corporations to revitalize the city. This development has subsequently attracted people to come to Detroit becoming gentrified in certain areas. These factors have changed the atmosphere and feelings of neighborhoods that once felt that they had a strong connection and collective efficacy within their neighborhoods and in the city.

I was able to interview nine participants who had a history with the University District or Midtown area to ask them about their feelings about what is happening in Detroit, how it has affected the collective efficacy of their neighborhoods, and where they hope to see the future of the city. In order to help further understand this study, the use of the gentrification theory, Patch et al.’s types of gentrifiers, Richard Florida’s creative class, and Henri Lefebvre and David Harvey’s right to the city has been used. The study found that collective efficacy was romanticized and talked about as one of the characteristics of the old Detroit. Gentrifications effects had greatly impacted that sense of community and shared morals many had felt growing up in the city. The city natives had fostered both a love and hate for the new residents who had moved in, due to the fact that they were helping the city to regrow as well as displace natives and make the city feel exclusive.


Fitz Gibbon, Heather


Sociology and Anthropology


Social and Behavioral Sciences


gentification, collective efficacy, Detroit, community, neighborhood

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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