The Battle for the High Street

Retail Gentrification, Class and Disgust

  • Phil Hubbard

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 15-44
  3. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 45-66
  4. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 67-88
  5. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 89-118
  6. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 119-146
  7. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 147-168
  8. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 169-198
  9. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 199-225
  10. Phil Hubbard
    Pages 227-246
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 247-260

About this book


This book analyses the social and cultural status of high streets in the age of recession and austerity. High streets are shown to have long been regarded as the heart of many communities, but have declined to a state where boarded-up and vacant retail units are a familiar sight in many British cities. The book argues that the policies deemed necessary to revive the fortunes of high streets are often thinly-veiled attacks on the tastes and cultures of the working class. Policy-makers often promote boutiques, art galleries and upmarket cafés at the expense of some of the outlets frequented by less affluent populations, including betting shops, fast food takeaways, discount stores and bargain booze outlets. 

Highlighting the social and cultural roles that so-called 'dying' high streets continue to play in the lives of working class and disadvantaged populations, this book provides a powerful argument against retail gentrification, and a timely analysis of class conflict in austerity Britain. It will be of great interest to scholars of geography, social policy and cultural studies.


Human geography Urban Studies Cities United Kingdom Policy Retail Austerity Community shopping urban regeneration urban sociology place

Authors and affiliations

  • Phil Hubbard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyKing’s College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-52152-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-52153-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site