H. Shellae Versey, assistant professor of psychology, is the author of “A tale of two Harlems: Gentrification, social capital, and implications for aging in place,” published in Social Science & Medicine, Volume 214, October 2018.
In this paper, Versey discusses the impact of gentrification on features of the social and cultural environment.
“While research generally describes gentrification as a phenomenon of housing shifts and neighborhood migration, I argue that gentrification is more so a process of slow violence that increases housing scarcity and social isolation, disrupts neighborhood social capital, and decreases a sense of belongingness, particularly among older adults and communities of color,” she said.
Versey examined several neighborhoods undergoing gentrification, including Harlem and Brooklyn, N.Y., which revealed a more complicated narrative about changing neighborhood dynamics and the implementation of new norms as a consequence of gentrification.
At Wesleyan, Versey leads the Critical Health + Social Ecology (CH+SE) Lab. There, Versey and her students explore social ecologies and the context of neighborhoods, work, health, and gender by using surveys, epidemiological data, geospatial analytics, and community engagement to examine questions related to these themes.
At 5 p.m. on May 2, Versey will moderate an American Studies panel discussion on gentrification titled “Interrogating the Wesleyan to New York City Pipeline.”