Ngram Viewer – Urban Studies Terminology

gentrification

For my first Ngram Viewer, I looked up the terms gentrification, slum, gentrification, and urban renewal. This chart shows a correlation between ghetto/slum with urban renewal following the mid-50’s. What stands out significantly is the┬áspike between the three words is the Post-WWII years (I am not sure whether these terms relate to the United States or Europe). However, this terminology relates closely to the time of White Flight and the negative views towards the urban center of cities. Furthermore, gentrification did become commonly used until the late 70’s. Gentrification, another term for urban renewal but with a more cynical meaning, could have risen after the academic field becomes more diverse following the 60’s. Younger, more liberal scholars who focused on urban studies most likely held a more negative view towards urban renewal believing that it was destructive to marginalized communities and cultures. While observing the two terms, gentrification surpasses urban renewal around 2006. Unfortunately, Ngram Viewer does not pass 2008, so it is hard to understand the usage of the words following. However, it might be a sound conclusion to assume the use of gentrification is still on the rise.

 

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