Wei_Li_Emily_Skop_2007_ethnoburbs

Wei_Li_Emily_Skop_2007_ethnoburbs - Enclaves.Ethnoburbs, C...

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Chapter 9 Enclaves, Ethnoburbs, and New Patterns of Settlement among Asian Immigrants \{ei Li and Emily Skop Since the late 196os, the combination of global economic restructuring, changing geo- political contexts, and shifting American immigration poiicies has set in motion sig- nificant flows of Asian immigrants and refugees to the United States. Even as refugee admissions rvax and wane, family-sponsored immigration ctlntinues to grow, and record numbers of highly skilled, professional immigrants and lvealthy investors have also joined the flow. At the same tinre, patterns of Asian immigrant settlement have changed.Traditional central city enclaves such as "Chinatorvn," "Little Tokyo," or "NIa- nila Town" no longer absorb the majority of newcomers from r.arious countries of origin and with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Instead, manv Asian immigrants (especially upper- and middie-class nervcomers) tend to avoid central citv enclaves since they have the {inancial resourcesto settle directly in suburbs that offer decent housing,high-performing scl.rools, and superior living conditions and public ameni- ties. As a result, more and more suburban neighborhoods in the nation are becom- ing increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural, and multina- tional. This new pattern of Asian American settlement challenges the widely accepted characterization of the suburbs as the citadel of non-Hispanic ivhite, middle-class America. This chapter discusses the issues surrounding the changing settlement patterns among Asian American groups in the United States. It will hrst provide a brief demo- graphic overview of contemporary Asian America, followed by a description of shift- ing geographic distributions of the Asian American population at the state and metro- politan levels. The chapter then focuses on different settlement types arnong Asian American groups witl'rin metropolitan areas, from traditional central citv enclaves to multiethnic suburbs (knorvn as "ethnoburbs"), and demonstrates the similarities and differences between these settlement types. The chapter concludes rvith a discussionof the implications of divergent settlement forms for the economic, cultural, and politi- cal incorporation of contenporary Asian Anericans as rvell as of the way these pat- terns reinforce transnational processes in a globalizine rr.orld. Enclaves.Ethnoburbs,andNewPatternsofSettlementamongAsianlmmlgrants223 Demographic Overview of Asian Americans Since the mid-nineteenth century, Asian Americans have beenpresent in the united States, traditionally working as laborers in agriculture' fishing' mining' manufactur- ing, and construction, and is service workers and small business owners. Historically, ho"*.u.., their numbers and growth rates have beenlorr" prin-rarily because of exclu- sionary national immigration and naturalization larvs (like the r88z Chinese Exclusion Act, the r9r7 Asiatic Batred, Zone, and the ry4 U'S' t' Bhagat SinghThind Supreme Court case) and restrictive state legislation on marriage, landholding, and voting (in-
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