Handbook of Gentrification Studies
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Handbook of Gentrification Studies

Edited by Loretta Lees and Martin Phillips

It is now over 50 years since the term ‘gentrification’ was first coined by the British urbanist Ruth Glass in 1964, in which time gentrification studies has become a subject in its own right. This Handbook, the first ever in gentrification studies, is a critical and authoritative assessment of the field. Although the Handbook does not seek to rehearse the classic literature on gentrification from the 1970s to the 1990s in detail, it is referred to in the new assessments of the field gathered in this volume. The original chapters offer an important dialogue between existing theory and new conceptualisations of gentrification for new times and new places, in many cases offering novel empirical evidence.
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Chapter 4: Comparative urbanism in gentrification studies: fashion or progress?

Loretta Lees


As gentrification studies entered the C21st some authors proclaimed that gentrification had gone global and was now a generalised urban phenomenon. More recently a small number of urban geographers have become interested in investigating this claim using ideas from the supposedly ‘new’ comparative urbanism literature that has arisen in geography and beyond. Focusing on the relevance of this ‘new’ comparative urbanism for researching gentrification around the world, this chapter argues that the comparative urbanism literature is fashionable right now for a number of reasons, that it has good potential for a truly global gentrification studies, but that there is much theoretical, conceptual and especially methodological progress that needs to be made. There are also other issues to attend to, for in gentrification studies it is important to consider and resist the neglect and marginalization of those people being socially cleansed; that is, displaced from cities worldwide, not simply the neglect and marginalization of cities in the Global South in (northern) urban theory.

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