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Ruth Glass Gentrification In Sociology

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The word gentrification was first coined by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 when she observed certain alterations in the social structure and housing markets in certain areas of inner London (Mitchell, 2012). She noticed that it begins in a small district and rapidly proceeds until all or almost all of the working class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed (Mitchell, 2012). Because gentrification is such a widespread, international phenomenon that differs greatly depending on each case, there are many definitions of gentrification. For the purpose of this essay, gentrification will be defined as Scottish geographer and widely accredited gentrification theorist Neil Smith (1982) described it:…show more content…
In theory (and most of the time in practice) gentrification is a great idea, it brings businesses and therefore jobs, it betters the conditions of abandoned buildings and infrastructure, it incorporates new cultures and ethnicities, and it increases the overall property value of the affected areas. On the other hand, it displaces many original inhabitants, creating homelessness or small ghettos in other areas, conflict emerges between gentrifiers and original inhabitants, and affordable housing in the area becomes scarce and eventually non-existent, transforming the neighborhood paradigm from the socially disparate to rich ghettos. From this one can assume that gentrification, how it is currently being executed in most places, is not good for the urban poor. That being said, there are ways that it can be beneficial to the urban poor, and it all comes down to public…show more content…
In theory, gentrification is a grand idea, with mainly good intentions, but like everything in society that functions through capitalism, someone has to lose. Perhaps if the cultural and economic aspects of gentrification were clearly distinguished and dealt with separately, it would be possible for future policy intervention to make it more functional. Regardless, this problem can only be solved by the forging of interest of the “urban pioneers” and the original neighborhood
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