Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave

Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave

by Min Zhou

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Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave by Min Zhou

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 enclave as a socioeconomic system, distinct form, but intrinsically linked with, the larger society.

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. Concentrating on the past two decades, Zhou maintains that community networks and social capital are important resources for reaching socioeconomic goals and social positions in the United States; in Chinatown, ethnic employers use family ties and ethnic resources to advance socially. 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 Republic of China, makes extensive use of personal interviews to present a rich picture of the daily work life in the community. She demonstrates that for many immigrants, low-paid menial jobs provide by the enclave are expected as a part of the time-honored path to upward social mobility of the family.

In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439904176
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 06/22/2010
Series: Conflicts In Urban & Regional
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 316
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

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

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1. Introduction
2. Memories of Sojourning
3. Changes in Recent Chinese Immigration
4. Uprooted: The New Arrivals
5. The Rise of the Economic Enclave
6. The Ethnic Labor Force and Its Labor Market Experience
7. The Other Half of the Sky: Socioeconomic Adaptation of Immigrant Women
8. Residential Mobility and Ethnic Segregation
9. Conclusion: Rising Out of Chinatown

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