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Jason Patch and Neil Brenner

Subject Sociology » Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Urban, Rural and Community Sociology

Key-Topics city

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Gentrification entails the reinvestment of real estate capital into declining, inner-city neighborhoods to create a new residential infrastructure for middle and high-income inhabitants. In coining the term “gentrification” in 1964, Ruth Glass emphasized that class relations lie at the core of the process, which has generally involved the displacement of working-class residents from inner-city zones and the gradual influx of a new “gentry” of well-off professionals. Equally relevant, but often less noted, is the role of gentrification in accelerating the displacement of blue-collar jobs from the urban core. Since the 1960s and 1970s, most manufacturing cities in the United States, Great Britain, and continental Europe have seen a steady decline in industrial production. As capitalists relocated manufacturing activities from the inner cities to the suburbs and abroad, disinvested property remained, and was often left in a derelict, decaying condition. Subsequently, as of the 1980s, information-based financial and producer services industries gradually superseded the traditional manufacturing-based urban economies of the Fordist epoch. Within the new, post-Fordist configuration of urban development, professionals and white-collar workers generated a new demand for upscale housing in closer proximity to revitalizing downtowns. Under these conditions, devalued inner-city property was ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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