Making space, making race: Reconstituting white privilege in buckhead, Atlanta

Katherine B. Hankins, Robert Cochran, Kate Driscoll Derickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The comfortable relationship between the overwhelmingly white, southern Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead and a major hub of nightlife in the region unraveled in the early 2000s as the entire nightclub cluster was delegitimized, discursively constructed as dangerous and out of control, and ultimately razed to make space for luxury shopping. This paper sets out to query what social and Cultural relations account for this massive and unpredicted reconfiguration of urban space in the epicenter of wealth, whiteness, and power in Atlanta. By mobilizing the concept of the socio-spatial dialectic (Soja 1980, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70: 207-225), we draw on Pulido’s (2000, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 90: 12-40) work on the construction and perpetuation of white privilege to argue that the racialized production of space is a relevant framework for understanding the processes at work in Buckhead. We argue that race was an unstated but deeply important social relation shaping the process by which this particular space was remade. In so doing, we seek to advance the literature on whiteness by demonstrating the ways in which it articulates with the political economy of cities in the present conjuncture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-397
Number of pages19
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Atlanta
  • Buckhead
  • Race
  • Racialization
  • Urban political economy
  • White privilege


Dive into the research topics of 'Making space, making race: Reconstituting white privilege in buckhead, Atlanta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this