A sociologist of international migration examines the Chinese American experience
Contemporary Chinese America
Immigration, Ethnicity, and Community Transformation
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Min Zhou, foreword by Alejandro Portes
Contemporary Chinese America is the most comprehensive sociological investigation of the experiences of Chinese immigrants to the United Statesand of their offspringin the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The author, Min Zhou, is a well-known sociologist of the Chinese American experience. In this volume, she collects her original research on a range of subjects, including the causes and consequences of emigration from China, demographic trends of Chinese Americans, patterns of residential mobility in the U.S., Chinese American "ethnoburbs," immigrant entrepreneurship, ethnic enclave economies, gender and work, Chinese language media, Chinese schools, and intergenerational relations. The concluding chapter, "Rethinking Assimilation," ponders the future for Chinese Americans. Also included are an extensive bibliography and a list of recommended documentary films.
While the book is particularly well-suited for college courses in Chinese American studies, ethnic studies, Asian studies, and immigration studies, it will interest anyone who wants to more fully understand the lived experience of contemporary Chinese Americans.
"Through her sociological insight, Zhou's new book deepens our understanding of many aspects of contemporary Chinese America such as family, education, or enclave economy. Pushing the field to a new level, her scholarship is a must in race, ethnicity, and immigration studies."
"[A] thorough overview of the integration of Chinese immigrants in the US.... A welcome addition to immigration studies literature, the book makes an important contribution to Asian American studies literature, sociology, urban studies and geography. Highly Recommended."
"[A] comprehensive, in-depth analysis of contemporary Chinese America. The work, based on rigorous quantitative analyses and qualitative fieldwork, is informative, thought provoking, theoretically sound, empirically rich, while simultaneously humanistic.... In sum, [this book] offers the most thorough sociological investigation to date of the multifaceted experiences of Chinese immigrants and their off-spring in the United States. It provides an excellent grounding for understanding the emerging trends, issues, and debates in 21st-century Chinese American community while posing some of the most important questions in the fields of Chinese American Studies and comparative immigration."
"This book includes Zhou’s ten original case studies on different aspects of contemporary Chinese America representing some of the author’s finest research products. Each case study is refreshingly distinctive yet coherently linked to one another…Genuinely seeking a good understanding of how ethnicity affects communities as well as individuals in an individualistically driven American society, she thoughtfully frames relevant research questions and selects specific sites in which to investigate a fast-growing ethnic community…. Contemporary Chinese America has much to offer to both scholars and students in Asian American studies."
"Min Zhou’s Contemporary Chinese America is a wonderful addition to the literature on Asian Americans, ethnicity, and immigration. It is also an especially helpful resource for students interested in race and class… Contemporary Chinese American is a must read for everyone interested in immigration, race, ethnicity, and contemporary Asian America."
"In Contemporary Chinese America, Zhou has made an invaluable contribution to the fields of urban sociology, international migrations, and race and ethnic studies. As with her previous book, Chinatown, she continues to provoke new and important research questions."
"This is a comprehensive and well-written analysis of the current status of the Chinese-American community…. A major asset of this work is the chapter on Chinese women and their aspirations. The author does an excellent job of explaining how immigrants interpret the American dream in their terms…. This work is recommended for anyone interested in ethnicity and immigration."
"In this book, Zhou contributes to theories of ethnic enclaves, segmented assimilation, and transnationalism, making it an essential reading not only for specialists in immigration and ethnicity but also for urban planners.... Contemporary Chinese America is a must-read for planners working in immigrant gateway regions or other localities where the Chinese populations have clustered. Neighborhood change cannot be understood without grasping the nuances of the settlement patterns of immigrant groups. Moreover, the successful adaptation of the children of immigrants in U.S. society depends on institutionally complete neighborhoods where different generations can dialogue with one another and participate in local civic life. Ethnic capital is the glue that holds Chinese society together in the United States."
"[S]cholars of contemporary Asian American life will find much of value in Zhou’s study. Overall, it offers a fascinating portrait not only of a specific ethnic group but also of the changing meanings of immigration, integration, and acculturation in modern America."
"Zhou is especially effective in drawing out the experiences and perspectives of working-class Chinese women, as seen in her discussion of the cultural values, personal aspirations, and sense of possibilities in the world inhabited by the seamstresses of New York’s Chinatown. Her inquiry into intergenerational relationships within immigrant households and the phenomenon of parachute kids in typically affluent transnational families further makes her work profoundly relevant to our understanding of contemporary Chinese America and some underlying challenges in its future."
List of Figures and Tables
Introduction: A Personal Reflection on the Study of Chinatown and Beyond
PART I Historical and Global Contexts
PART II Immigration, Demographic Trends, and Community Dynamics
PART III The Organizational Structure of the Ethnic Enclave
PART IV The Family and the New Second Generation
PART V The Future of Chinese America
Appendix: Recommended Films on the Chinese American Experience
In the series
Asian American History and Culture, edited by K. Scott Wong, Linda Trinh Võ, and Cathy Schlund-Vials.
Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture, series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi and David Palumbo-Liu, series editors K. Scott Wong, Linda Trinh Võ, and Cathy Schlund-Vials continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.