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 5: From class to gentrification and back again

Michaela Benson and Emma Jackson


In this chapter, how a reconceptualization of class might reanimate scholarly engagements with gentrification and urban redevelopment theoretically, conceptually and methodologically is considered. This is done drawing on inspiration from contemporary feminist scholars of class who have put forward a dynamic approach to understanding class as producing inequality and injustice through the struggle over value. The chapter revisits the understandings of class that underpin studies of gentrification with a view to making the latter a more malleable and adaptable concept. It is argued that to understand planetary gentrification there is a need not only to critically evaluate the conditions through which knowledge of the urban has developed, but also to apply the same logic to the understandings of class that we mobilise within these.

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