Gentrification, firstly coined by British sociologist Ruth Glass, refers to a process of spatial reconstruction with social class upgrading, which focuses on class differentiation and its spatial effect. Nowadays, this process has evolved and mutated along with the transformation of the urban development all over the world. Therefore, this paper aims to review and analyze the changes of gentrification research and its regional expansion.
This paper first examines the evolution of the gentrification's definition and the applicability of this term. It then reviews the mutation of gentrification around the 2000s in terms of forms and locations. These results have shown that a broader definition of gentrification has been advocated by most scholars nowadays. After that, it looks at the relationship between gentrification and public policy, and finds that the state has played an important role in the process of gentrification, which is a distinct characteristic of contemporary gentrification. Furthermore, it turns to review the issues of gentrifiers and displacement which have changed and diversified over the past decades. In addition, specific emphasis and reviews have been given to East Asian countries and districts (Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) where gentrification research has taken off recently and increased dramatically. Research into gentrification in East Asia provides a new theoretical insight and alternative perspectives towards contemporary gentrification. Finally, this paper summarizes the conclusion ans expects the further research on gentrification in East Asia.