Sorting through Differences: The Problem of Planning as Reimagination

Raul P. Lejano, Erualdo R. González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Communities are sorted through differencing, the social construction of distinction. This, in turn, enables what we term social rendering: erasure of existing community and reimagination of an alternative one. This practice is founded upon an evolutionary notion of development as ecological succession, involving the intersectionality of race, class, and other markers. Such social genotyping leads to a genitocracy built around systems of differences. We examine the effect of present-day redevelopment practice on the Southern California community of Santa Ana. We illustrate how the processes of differencing and rendering undermine the sociocultural fabric of authentic community life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Chicago School
  • Latino urbanism
  • New Urbanism
  • differencing
  • discourse
  • gentrification
  • redevelopment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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