Chinese Ethnic Enclaves Presentation

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  • 7/31/2019 Chinese Ethnic Enclaves Presentation


    Chinatown: Ethnic

    EnclavesBy Dan Shull

  • 7/31/2019 Chinese Ethnic Enclaves Presentation


    Geographical & psychological

    Chinatown is: A physical location

    Primarily urban (98% of Chinese Americans in 1990lived in cities)

    A place where old and new immigrants can findcommunity and assistance

    A concept

    For non-Chinese, an exotic tourist destination For Chinese Americans and immigrants, provides

    association with others of the same ethnic and culturalorigin a need for identity

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    Chinatowns Around the U.S.

    Chinese ethnic enclaves can be found allacross the United States:

    Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, New York,Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and Washington D.C.

    Dobie (1976, cited in Chinatown: MostTimes, Hard Times) called San Franciscos

    Chinatown, the most significant expressionof every Chinatown in the United States.

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    Beginnings of S.F. Chinatown

    1st reported arrival in 1820

    San Francisco soon

    became a hub forimmigrants

    Primarily men, leaving aChina in turmoil

    British Opium Wars

    Peasant rebellions

    Bad economic conditions, likehigh taxes and frequent


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    The 1850s and 1860s

    Chinese were initiallywelcomed as hard

    workers San Francisco was away station forworkers in the mines

    and on the railroads Most lived in outlying


    As more and more

    arrived, sentimentturned against them

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    Forced into enclaves

    Increasing anti-Chinese legislation andsentiment led to violence

    The Page Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the ScottAct all made immigration more difficult

    Anti-Chinese riots across the U.S.

    1886: In Seattle, the Chinese residents were drivenout and sent to San Francisco

    Chinese went to the Chinatowns forsecurity and work Mutual aid societies such as Chinese Consolidated

    Benevolent Association

    Self-employment in stores, restaurants, laundries

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    Map of Chinatown, 1885

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    Gender in S.F. Chinatown

    Chinatowns were a bachelor society Limits on immigration of women (Page Act of

    1875) Confucian ideology (the woman stays home, cares

    for children and in-laws, waits for husband)

    Prohibitive cost of migration

    Anti-miscegenation laws (Chinese men could notmarry white women)

    Some women were still present, mostly asprostitutes Illegal immigration (not directly noted in my


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    Earthquake of 1906

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    Aftermath of the Quake

    Most of Chinatown destroyed

    Loss of records enabled men to start

    bringing families, wives; they also couldclaim citizenship Women were consistently 5% of the Chinese


    In the process of rebuilding, both Chineseand non-Chinese business owners chose tomake Chinatown a more tourist-friendlydestination

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    Prior to WW II

    Increased presence of families, children andbusinesses

    Laws in the 1920s continued to targetChinese immigrants Both the laws of the 1800s and 1900s affected

    population density

    Racism also created occupationalsegregation (though this is ongoing)

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    Changes to the present

    In 1943, to support China as an ally,Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act passed

    Only directed at immigration Passage of the Immigration and Nationality

    Act of 1965 led to even more immigration Increase in immigration began changing

    Chinatown Increase in need for social services

    Provided primarily by non-profit groups

    Demand for more housing Built by Ping Yuen Public Housing from 1952 to 1969

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    Modern Day S.F. Chinatown

    In 1984, 3 out of every 4 visitors to S.F. visited Chinatown Grant is the tourist area; Stockton is more local residents Still serves immigrants

    Network of community organizations, psychological / spiritualsupport

    Chinatown Neighborhood Improvement Resource Center began in1977 to achieve various planning goals for the district

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    Chen, Y. Chinese San Francisco, 1850-1943. 2000. Stanford UniversityPress, Stanford, CA.

    Chinn, T. Bridging the Pacific: San Francisco Chinatown & Its People. 1989.

    Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco, CA.Finkelman, P. (editor-in-chief). Encyclopedia of the United States in the 19 thCentury. 2001. Charles Scribners Sons, New York, NY.

    Kim, H. Dictionary of Asian American History. 1986. Greenwood Press, NewYork, NY.

    Loo, C. Chinatown: Most Time, Hard Time. 1991. Praeger, New York, NY.

    Takaki, R. A Different Mirror. 2008. Back Bay Books, New York, NY.