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Gentrification of ethnic businesses in Toronto's Little India: an analysis of ethnic business development

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posted on 22.05.2021, 15:19 by Taraneh Etemadi
Gentrification of ethnic businesses within ethnic economies is a new phenomenon that is vastly affecting Toronto’s Little India. As a result, research focusing on this issue and analysis on the way in which ethnic businesses have been developed is an important problem to investigate. This research will focus on three main research questions; observing the different looks, practices, styles, and tastes prevalent amongst restaurants in Little India, examining if the styles and tastes projected by restaurants’ ethnic habitus have an impact on how ethnic businesses fare, and assessing if entrepreneurs are able or unable to modify their business practices, and styles. The analysis will be conducted through the lens of the Habitus (Bourdieu, 1987) as a theoretical framework, specifically examining the ways in which self-employed migrants develop their businesses and the role that their ethnic background and culture may have in this process. This research will take an ethnographic methodological approach in conducting the research through two steps, beginning with a naturalistic observation of two restaurants and following up with interviews. The findings determined that slight changes made to the business approach and cultural habitus of ethnic businesses can prove successful in attracting the needs of the surrounding clientele and the gentrifying population. Keywords: gentrification, South Asian, Little India, ethnic economy, self-employed migrants





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type