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Immigration and Immigrant Settlements: The Chinese in New York City

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Item Summary

Title:Immigration and Immigrant Settlements: The Chinese in New York City
Authors:Chow, Chunshing
Contributors:Fuller, Gary A. (advisor)
Geography and Environment (department)
New York City
Chinese Americans
emigration and immigration
show 3 morecolonization
minority and ethnic groups
show less
Date Issued:May 1984
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 1984]
Abstract:Existing studies of Chinatowns and other ethnic neighborhoods have tended to be biased by the perspectives of the majority. They have explained such communities in terms of discrimination, assimilation, and the poverty circle. To explain the Chinese settlements in New York City, this study employs the behavioral approach which emphasizes the perspectives of the Chinese. It examines (1) how the Chinese, being subject to various constraints, have manipulated the urban environment to suit their interests, (2) how their attitudes toward the majority and other minorities have affected their adaptive actions, and (3) how they have organized to help modify the Chinese settlements in the city.
Fieldwork generated most of the data for this study. Such data originated from participant and non-participant observation, informal interviews, questionnaire, clippings from local Chinese newspapers, and censuses.
Historically, Chinese laundrymen and restaurant workers were scattered throughout metropolitan New York. Their dispersion was neither inhibited by discrimination nor augmented by assimilation. A questionnaire survey reveals that dispersed Chinese in New York City and concentrated Chinese in Chinatown have both differences and similarities in behavioral traits. The dispersion of the Chinese is not entirely determined by assimilation but is more directly related to their responses to housing and economic opportunities in the city.
The U. S. immigration policy favors family reunification and discourages immigrants from seeking public assistance. Such policy promotes "chain migration" and induces immigrants to congregate. The unique demand for ethnic goods enables the Chinese to develop integrated economic activities in Chinatown. Chinatown's merchants generate wealth by providing services to dispersed Chinese throughout metropolitan New York. The Chinese reinvest the wealth in Chinatown and own many buildings there. Because the Chinese are ethnocentric and because they often channel information about housing and employment opportunities in the Chinese language, non-Chinese find it difficult to infiltrate Chinatown.
Chinatown's lack of redevelopment does not necessarily result from poverty. Rent control and tenant protection laws inhibit the relocation of existing residents and make it difficult to redevelop Chinatown. To understand ethnic communities better, it is necessary to consider their behavior in such a context.
Description:PhD University of Hawaii at Manoa 1984
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 204–221).
Pages/Duration:x, 221 leaves, bound : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Geography

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