The Gentrification Theory: A Brief Description.
Since Ruth Glass first coined the term back in 1964, in order to explain the forced displacement of low-income groups from the inner city areas (Lees et.al, 2008), gentrification has been one of the most popular theories discussed among social and urban specialists.
The initial hypothesis states that gentrification is a process lead by middle to high-income people, generally represented under the tags of young families with managerial jobs, real estate investment firms, or the rise of the cognitive-cultural entrepreneur class (Scott, 2008). It starts with the partial integration of these groups in lower- income inner-city neighbourhoods. The settlement of these higher income classes, attracted to live in these urban enclaves, triggers the shift of local communities’ social structures. Hence, as a result of a constant rise of the prices that affect the people’s rents and the commercial services in the surroundings, the original residents are forced to leave their own homes.
In summary, gentrification is a process that fosters social displacement (Lees et.al, 2008), which is perceivable in the change of the neighbourhood environment aesthetics, encompassed and justified by speeches of urban renewal or the rebirth of the old inner city.
However, tracing the roots of gentrification is not a standard process, as the phenomenon’s characteristics may differ according to the context where the theory is applied. It involves complex social relationships, cultural shifts, and global economy pressures that are shaped in diverse forms throughout the city’s landscape, among other factors. These may be some of the main reasons why gentrification studies have been generally carried out under the lo...
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...he number of people belonging to middle and high income classes, since these groups compose an important part of the agents of gentrification. Nonetheless, other institutions and catalysts as banks and policy implementation, which may empower these new emergent classes and the acquisition of houses in the inner-city neighbourhoods, are also considered to be agents of gentrification.
• Gerring, J. (2001). Social science methodology: A criterial framework. Cambridge University Press.
• Inzulza-Contardo, J. (2012). ‘Latino gentrification’?: focusing on physical and socioeconomic patterns of change in Latin American inner cities. Urban Studies, 49(10), 2085-2107.
• Lees, L., Slater, T., & Wyly, E. (2008). Gentrification. Routledge.
• Allen Scott (2008), Social Economy of the Metropolis; Cognitive-Cultural Capitalism and the Global Resurgence of Cities.
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