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How immigrants are reinventing Sunset Park, forming new multi-racial alliances, and reshaping their community

Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood

Brooklyn's Sunset Park

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Tarry Hum

"Tarry Hum’s study of a single neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, creates a new narrative for the current global age of postindustrial, urban redevelopment. Outside the center, cities are increasingly made up of neighborhoods like Sunset Park: a multiracial space that is both a cultural home for different ethnic communities and a contested site of real estate speculation and gentrification. Hum documents this neighborhood’s crucial sense of place—and its potential for grassroots social action—with sensitivity and passion. Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood is a great contribution to understanding New York in the 21st century."
Sharon Zukin, Professor of Sociology, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center, and author of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

Based on more than a decade of research, Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood charts the evolution of Sunset Park—with a densely concentrated working-poor and racially diverse immigrant population—from the late 1960s to its current status as one of New York City's most vibrant neighborhoods.

Tarry Hum shows how processes of globalization, such as shifts in low-wage labor markets and immigration patterns, shaped the neighborhood. She explains why Sunset Park's future now depends on Asian and Latino immigrant collaborations in advancing common interests in community building, civic engagement, entrepreneurialism, and sustainability planning. She shows, too, how residents' responses to urban development policies and projects and the capital represented by local institutions and banks foster community activism.

Hum pays close attention to the complex social, political, and spatial dynamics that forge a community and create new models of leadership as well as coalitions. The evolution of Sunset Park so astutely depicted in this book suggests new avenues for studying urban change and community development.

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Excerpt

Read the Introduction (pdf).

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Reviews

"Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood offers an excellent analysis and description of issues in New York City’s Sunset Park. With interesting details and insightful observations, Hum provides an in-depth look at some of the major issues and trends affecting urban areas in the United States—from development and demographics to inequality and race relations. One of the strengths of this book is illustrating the importance of Chinese banks and capital in the development of Sunset Park and the role that Chinese immigrants play as both affluent gentrifiers and working-class residents facing displacement. Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood also explains how local issues in Sunset Park fit into the larger economic and political setting of New York City. Hum has a deep understanding of the history and everyday life of this neighborhood and the political, economic, and cultural dynamics shaping the community."
Leland Saito, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California and author of The Politics of Exclusion: The Failure of Race-Neutral Policies in Urban America

"[I]n her challenging and masterful new book...Tarry Hum presents a much more complex and politically attuned vision of Sunset Park, and urban immigrant neighborhoods in general.... The history is complex, but its recounting paints a rich picture of a neighborhood more familiar with change than with stasis.... Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood is ultimately optimistic about the neighborhood’s prospects.... The brilliance of Hum’s 'global neighborhoods' framework is that it illuminates...tensions, and demolishes the simplistic construct of 'think globally act locally.'"
Progressive Planning Magazine

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Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Immigrant Places: Toward a Theory of Global Neighborhoods
2. Making Sunset Park: Settlement, Decline, and Transformation
3. The Working Poverty of Neighborhood Revitalization: Industrial Sweatshops and Street Vendors
4. Immigrant Growth Coalitions and Neighborhood Change: The Role of Ethnic Banks
5. Gentrifying Sunset Park: Community Boards, City Planning, and a Migrant Civil Society
6. Power Plants, Sex Shops, Industrial Zones, and Open Space: The Politics of a Sustainable Working Waterfront

Conclusion

Notes
References
Index

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About the Author(s)

Tarry Hum is Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Subject Categories

Urban Studies
Asian American Studies
Latino/a Studies


In the series

Asian American History and Culture, edited by David Palumbo-Liu, 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 emeritus editor Michael Omi, series editors David Palumbo-Liu, 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.

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