Japanese Immigrant Entrepreneurs in New York City: A New Wave of Ethnic Businessby Akiko S. Hosler
This book examines the entrepreneurial activities of contemporary Japanese immigrants in New York to determine what makes their pattern of business so unique. Existing theories of immigrant entrepreneurship focus on a specific mode of business characterized by entrepreneurs who come to the U.S. in a chain-like pattern, make intensive use of cheap co-ethnic labor, and grow rapidly through horizontal and/or vertical integration. This study shows that Japanese immigrant businesses do not fit this model because their advantaged national origin no longer requires such strategies.
The author finds that most Japanese entrepreneurs come to the U.S. as independent adults, rather than as part of chain migration. They receive occupational training through education institutions and formal employment, then move into business ownership as realization of long-term career goals. These entrepreneurs do use ethnic resources to gain access to customers, business contacts, finances and employees, but they also make liberal use of non-ethnic resources, and there is no evidence of the use of a traditional informal banking system. The study finds that the business typology constructed by the ethnic origin of products and customers is useful for predicting the use of ethnic and non-ethnic resources, as well as for measuring the level of assimilation of the business owner. Also includes maps.
(Ph.D. dissertation, SUNY Albany, 1996; revised with new preface)
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