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

By Min Zhou

Min Zhou examines how an ethnic enclave works to direct its contributors into American society, whereas while protective them from it. Focusing in particular on New York's Chinatown, a neighborhood tested greater than a century in the past, Zhou deals an intensive and glossy remedy of the enclave as a socioeconomic process, special shape, yet intrinsically associated with, the bigger society.

Zhou's significant subject matter is that Chinatown doesn't preserve immigrant chinese language from assimilating into mainstream society, yet as a substitute presents another technique of incorporation into society that doesn't clash with cultural forte. targeting the previous twenty years, Zhou keeps that group networks and social capital are vital assets for attaining socioeconomic targets and social positions within the usa; in Chinatown, ethnic employers use relations ties and ethnic assets to boost socially. hoping on her family's networks in New York's Chinatown and her fluency in either Cantonese and Mandarin, the writer, who was once born within the People's Republic of China, makes wide use of private interviews to provide a wealthy photograph of the day-by-day paintings lifestyles locally. She demonstrates that for lots of immigrants, low-paid menial jobs offer by means of the enclave are anticipated as part of the popular route to upward social mobility of the family.

within the sequence Conflicts in city and local Development, edited via John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.

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Extra resources for Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave

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Most of the tax was actually collected from the Chinese because they did not have the desire to become permanent citizens. The tax they paid made up one of the largest sources of revenue for the new state of California. S . Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The Chinese had already paid $5 million, 85 percent of the total tax collected; yet not a single cent was refunded. 22 In the late 1850s, when most of the gold mines were exhausted, the demand for cheap labor shifted to railroad construction.

Its dank and filthy cubicle dwellings, run-down housing with ever-skyrocketing rents, stifling air, and seemingly demeaning lifestyle are totally incomprehensible to the larger population. The squalid living conditions are only part of the story. Chinatown is plagued with vice. The long-standing protection rackets, high-stakes basement gambling dens, and houses of prostitution increasingly branch out into extortion, armed robbery, street-gang fights, large-scale heroin importing, and the smuggling of illegal aliens.

Past studies of American Chinatowns were predominantly limited to historical and anthropological frameworks and tended to view Chinatowns simply as a survival strategy-a means of self-reliance and self-defense-or as a first stop along a unilinear assimilation path in which immigrants entered at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder to begin a process of acculturation and mobility lasting several generations. 19 Other social scientists have challenged this traditional view and linked Chinatown to the political economy of the larger system of capitalism.

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