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Friday, January 23rd, 2009
6:30pm
New York University Sociology Department
Puck Building
295 Lafayette st. 4th FL
New York, NY 10012

An interview with SDS member Rachel Haut published in the September issue of this publication provoked widespread comment in radical circles. We welcome the discussion but worry that it remains ensconced within the sterile jargon and petty antinomies of the actually-existing-Left.
Confronting the confusion and fragmentation that wrought progressive politics in recent decades, Ernesto Laclau’s work attempts to theorize the path to the construction of a radical democratic politics. Drawing on Gramsci’s concept of hegemony to devise his own theory by that name, Laclau describes the processes of social articulation that creates popular political identities.
The perception of gentrification in Chicago mirrors would-be progressive groups’ social imaginations and the heterogeneity of their goals. Gentrification is the reconstitution of a neighborhood which occurs when lower-income areas with lower land value are re-developed with higher-value housing into a decidedly wealthier neighborhood. During this process the class-composition and character of the neighborhood is changed; those already living in the neighborhood cannot sustain the rise in property taxes and must move elsewhere.