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Historians say that gentrification took place in ancient Rome and in Roman Britain, where large villas were replacing small shops by the 3rd century, AD. The word gentrification derives from gentry—which comes from the Old French word genterise, "of gentle birth" (14th century) and "people of gentle birth" (16th century). In England, Landed gentry denoted the social class, consisting of gentlemen. Although the term was already used in English in the 1950s - for instance by Sidney Perutz (Strange Reciprocity: Mainstreaming Women's Work in Tepotzlan in the 'Decade of the New Economy',1955, p37) and by William Xenophon Weed and Oscar Le Roy Warren (Warren's Weed on the New York Law of Real Property, Volume 6, 1950, p.  67), British sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term "gentrification" in 1964 to describe the influx of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighborhoods; her example was London, and its working-class districts such as Islington:

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