Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 37%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.53
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 85%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $4.53   
  • New (4) from $22.80   
  • Used (14) from $4.37   


In Chinatown, Min Zhou examines how an ethnic enclave works to direct its members into American society, while at the same time shielding them from it. Focusing specifically on New York's Chinatown, a community established more than a century ago, Zhou offers a thorough and modern treatment of the immigrant enclave as a socioeconomic system, distinct from, but intrinsically linked with, the larger society. It is difficult for Americans to understand the Chinese experience in Chinatown: while it is located in New York City and many other American cities, this exotic and even forbidding world is really many worlds away. Some view the immigrant enclave as a place where newcomers--naive, ignorant of labor rights, and with language barriers--are mercilessly exploited by fellow Chinese. Zhou's central theme is that Chinatown does not keep immigrant Chinese from assimilating into mainstream society, but instead provides an alternative means of incorporation into society that does not conflict with cultural distinctiveness. In his Foreword, Alejandro Portes observes that this "may exploit some but... gives others their only chance of someday launching their own enterprises." Concentrating on the past two decades, Zhou maintains that community networks and social capital are important resources for reaching socioeconomic goals and social position in the United States; in Chinatown, ethnic employers use family ties and ethnic resources to advance socially. Chinese employees have access to employment opportunities in Chinatown that they would otherwise lack because of language difficulties, mismatched skills, and undervalued educational credentials. Zhou demonstrates that for many immigrants, low-paid menial jobs provided by the enclave are expected as a part of the time-honored path to upward social mobility of the family. Relying on her family's networks in New York's Chinatown and her fluency in both Cantonese and Mandarin, the author, who was born in the People's Repu
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book provides a well-written and fascinating picture of the positive face of Chinatown as an economic enclave that provides an alternative path for immigrants to succeed in American without losing their strong ethnic identity and ocmmunity....The author provides an excellent account of the historical and structural factors that have led to the formation and continuation of Chinatown as an urban enclave since the post-1965 Chinese immigration period."
Social Science Quarterly

"Chinatown is a captivating story of East meeting West in greater New York City."
American Journal of Sociology

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566393379
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: Conflicts In Urban & Regional Series
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,182,420
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Min Zhou is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1 Introduction 1
2 Memories of Sojourning 18
3 Changes in Recent Chinese Immigration 41
4 Uprooted: The New Arrivals 69
5 The Rise of the Economic Enclave 91
6 The Ethnic Labor Force and Its Labor Market Experience 119
7 The Other Half of the Sky: Socioeconomic Adaptation of Immigrant Women 152
8 Residential Mobility and Ethnic Segregation 185
9 Conclusion: Rising Out of Chinatown 219
Notes 235
References 251
Index 265
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)