Origin of ‘Gentrification’ – confusing reference to 1888 publication

젠트리피케이션이라는 용어가 처음 사용된 것이 1888년 ‘영국 맨체스터 인문학 및 철학협회 백서’란 문헌이라는 설명을 듣고 뒤적여 봤습니다. 결론은 해당 문헌을 다운받아 단어검색을 한 결과 (단어검색을 허용합니다 – 스캔을 잘 했더군요…), 찾을 수 없다는 것이었습니다.

I come across with this occasional statement that the first use of ‘gentrification’ can be found in “Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society” published in 1888. For instance, Jordi Nofre’s 2013 article says:

“Although the term ‘gentrification’ can be origi- nally found in Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society written in 1888 (Atkinson & Bridge 2008), it acquired a contemporary meaning when the British sociologist Ruth Glass (1964) used it in her book London: Aspects of Change”. 

However, Atkinson & Bridge (published not in 2005, not 2008) does not appear to have made any such claim.

A recent column by a Korean urban planner in a Korean newspaper also contains a similar statement: “이 용어는 1888년 ‘영국 맨체스터 인문학 및 철학협회 백서’란 문헌에서 처음 사용됐다”

You can actually access and download this Memoirs and Proceedings from this link below:


The PDF copy allows word search, and you can quickly search for ‘gentry’ or ‘gentrification’. Nowhere in the book can you find the expression.

New publication: Introduction to a special issue on Latin American gentrifications

Finally, it’s with great pleasure to be able to announce the forthcoming special issue on Latin American gentrifications. This is part of the collective project that I have been working on with Loretta Lees and Ernesto López-Morales. Previous outputs included a co-edited volume Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, a co-authored monograph Planetary Gentrification, and a special issue from Urban Studies “Locating gentrification in the Global East“. The forthcoming special issue from the journal Urban Geography marks the conclusion of our project, and the following is the co-authored introduction to the special issue:

López-Morales, E., Shin, H.B. and Lees, L. (2016) Introduction: Latin American gentrifications. Urban Geography. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1200335
Currently, Latin American cities are seeing simultaneous processes of reinvestment and redevelopment in their historic central areas. These are not just mega-scale interventions like Porto Maravilha in Rio or Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires or the luxury renovations seen in Santa Fé or Nueva Polanco in Mexico City, they also include state-led, piecemeal, high-rise interventions in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Panamá and Bogotá, all of which are causing the displacement of original populations and thus are forms of gentrification. Until very recently, these processes have been under-conceptualized and little critiqued in Latin America, but they deserve careful scrutiny, along with new forms of neighbourhood organization, activism and resistance. In this introduction, we begin that task, drawing on the work begun in an Urban Studies Foundation-funded workshop on Global Gentrification held in Santiago, Chile in 2012. Our aim is not just to understand these urban changes and conflicts as gentrification, but to empirically test the applicability of a generic understanding of gentrification beyond the usual narratives of/from the global North. From this investigation, we hope to nurture new critical narratives, to engage sensitively with indigenous theoretical narratives and to understand the dialectical interplay between state policies, financial markets, local politics and people. The papers in this special issue deal with the core issues of state power and urban policies (exerted at metropolitan and neighbourhood scales), the enormous influx of financial investment in derelict neighbourhoods that produces exclusion and segregation, the significant loss of urban heritage from rapidly “renewing” neighbourhoods and the institutional arrangements that can enable anti-displacement activism and self-managed social housing production.

The rest of the papers in this special issue are as follows: