Ethnography of Monti: Evicted From Eternity - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-11 10:49:48
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Middlebury College
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Critical thinking
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Monti is City found in the center of Rome appearing like an island with invisible walls seemingly separating the neighborhood (Michael, 2011, p.12). Historically, Monti was known as a home for artisans and shopkeepers, but today the town has transformed following gentrification (Michael, 2011, p.17). Transformation of Monti has led to changes in its socio-economic activities seen by residents moving to other places because of high living standard in Monti. Real estate development and well as the construction of hotels has contributed to the eviction of some residents to cheaper places that they can afford (Michael, 2011, p.19).

Research Questions

Michael had two major questions to address. The first research question focused on gentrification while the other question concerned doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic. The first question on gentrification seeks to find the effect of gentrification on the socio-economic status of Monti. The second question on faith seeks to answer the impact of the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholic had to the people of Monti. Merging the impact of gentrification and Roman Catholic faith leads to other minor questions on tourism and living standards as below.

Tourism: How has gentrification of Monti affected tourism? What are the main landscapes that transformed?

Living standards: Who are the local people that evicted Monti to cheaper places? What factors contributed to a high living standard in Monti? Did the Catholic Church doctrines and practices influence the socio-economic status of the residents of Monti?

Theoretical Approach

The author employed the theory of development, modernization as well as globalization in the illustrating condition of Monti in two decades. Firstly, Michael used the theory of development by showing how the economy of Monti grew whereby real estate developers and politicians developed real estates and hotels to replace or renovate the old structures (Michael, 2011, p.16).

Secondly, the theory of globalization is as well used by Michael by showing how the global market economy had an interest in Monti following transformation. Globalization theory applies in the illustration of great investment in the tourism industry (Michael, 2011, p.3, p.14).

Lastly, the theory of modernity is used by Michael through changes in lifestyle. There is the move from an urban village into a modern real estate town with structures design having features of modern architecture is a show of modernity theory. In the narration, Michael elaborates the transformation of an urban village to an affluent modern town (Michael, 2011, p.17).

Research Methods

Michael used narration approach together with descriptive storytelling in the data collection process. The author obtained information through personal perspective by meeting people as well as interrelation. The use of descriptive storytelling and narration is suitable in this ethnography because it leads to detailed data collection as well as gathering information about past events. Michael held meeting with residents of Monti when collecting data like the shopkeepers, artisans as well as the immigrants.

Ethnographic Process

Michael recorded information when meeting with the residents and also when observing the social-economic dynamics of Monti. The observation involved the assessment of the renowned landmarks like the famous Sana Maria Maggiore Church and the Colosseum (Michael, 2011, p.12). Data collection process involved the observation and recording of data of unique features found in Monti. Also, the study sought information on features that contribute to the social landscape of Monti like the Catholic Church Doctrine and architectural idiosyncrasies with their underlying effects on the civic and bureaucratic life of Monti residents. The entire ethnographic process geared towards an understanding of the gentrification consequences to Monti and its residents.

Main Findings

Michael has findings that indicate the state of Monti following gentrification process. The first finding as noted by the author is that Monti has improved regarding socio-economic status. There is development by the real estate sector in Monti and its neighborhood as real estate investors are building modern rental houses in the area (Michael, 2011, p.49). Also, there is an improvement in the cost of living in Monti, a situation leading to some residents moving to others places that they can afford. The displacement of peoples as well occurs because landlords are selling land to real estate investors who are putting up modern structures.

In his argument concerning real estate development and displacement of people, Michael stated that property and land in Monti are becoming valuable causing an attraction of developers in the area. Investors are investing in the area to gain more profit in their real estate companies. The author as well argues that residents are moving to other cheaper places because they cannot afford the high living standard in Monti (Michael, 2011, p.3).

The author also found out that gentrification of Monti led to the loss of tradition, landmarks as well as monuments. The old monuments and landmarks that characterized Monti got scraped away. Michael further argues that real estate developers and the government scraped away old monument and to came up with modern structures. The replacement of the old monument was to use the modern architecture designs in Monti (Michael, 2011, p.3).

Strengths and Weaknesses

This ethnography has some weaknesses that require considerations in the data analysis and interpreting process. Firstly, the ethnography has the weakness of misinterpretation and misunderstanding of data because of cultural differences and human biases. The other weakness of this ethnography is the violation of cultural rights and voices. There is a likelihood of the violation of participants' cultural rights and voices because the researcher might not understand some socio-cultural practices of Monti residents. Also, this ethnography has the weakness of inflexibility in the presentation of data collected in journal articles. Writing up findings in journal articles using this ethnography is ineffective because the researcher applies participant-observation method, field notes recording or the use of interviews to supplement research.

Unlike then weaknesses, this ethnography has some strength that offers validity and credibility of data and findings. The first strength of this ethnography process is the choice of the research setting as Monti has the features that indicate the consequences of gentrification. There is the like-hood of finding the information under investigation by assessing the socio-cultural dynamics of Monti and its residents. The other strength of this ethnography is in the choice of data collection method. The use of participant-observation method leads to an in-depth understanding of the complex socio-cultural diversity and behaviors of Monti residents.

Supposing I were the ethnographer, I would prefer hiring people from majority groups instead of using individuals perceived as a threat by the dominant group. Using people from majority group will lead to the gathering of reliable data with no fears of victimization.

There is an intersection between ethnography and urban life because city life encompasses diversity regarding culture, gender, language, race as well class. Ethnography which involves the application of science in the description of people's cultures, habits, behaviors as well as mutual differences will find a better setting in the urban life. There is a representation of people in urban across cultures, class, language as well as gender, a situation that leads to an intersection of urban life with ethnography.


Michael, H. (2011). Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome, London. University of Chicago Press

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