Displacement and the Capitalist Order of Things

Abstract: One of the problems with the term “displacement” is that it is often mapped onto seemingly bounded groups—the “refugees,” the “homeless”—whose displacement is considered distinct. The effect of this bounding is twofold: displacement is treated as an exceptional experience, and the structural forces of displacement are obscured. In this article, I collapse the conventional bounding of displacement by bringing the experiences of disparate groups into the same analytical frame. These experiences prompt us to consider displacement from a political economy lens, showing that—far from an exceptional experience—displacement is caused by and realized through vulnerabilities within the “capitalist order of things.”

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