Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2214-9953
  • E-ISSN: 2214-9961
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This paper examines how Brooklyn retail signage represents how gentrifying women struggle for claiming space in public and the way in which different intersectional identity formations are used and implicated in transforming urban space. In exploring different ethnographic dimensions to retail storefronts, we show how women, many of whom are college-educated, married, and new mothers, play a significant role in redefining Brooklyn and cultural norms of motherhood more broadly. Yet, as newly arriving women emerge as key players in the gentrification project, they experience backlash against their public roles. We explore how women also employ race, inequality, and patriarchal notions of heteronormative sexuality as a cover for their public challenges to patriarchal power. Drawing on visual ethnography, interviews, and digital archival material we argue that the ambiguity of word play accomplishes both the pushing of normative boundaries as well as the protective cover of public meanings.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Brooklyn; gender; gentrification; public space; race; retail storefronts; sexuality; signage; women; word play
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