restricted access Social Science
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Social Science

Social Science

Chair: Martin F. Manalansan IV

Committee members: Kale Fajardo, Lynn Fujiwara

Winner:

Ethnoburb: The New Ethnic Community in Urban America, by Li Wei

The study of Asian immigrant settlements has long been part of the field of Asian American studies. Ethnoburb: The New Ethnic Community in Urban America, by Li Wei, breaks new ground and shifts the terms of research and the debate through an innovative and revitalized focus on the suburb. This work heralds a new way of thinking about immigrants and space by reconceptualizing and documenting ethnic Asian community formations in an underdeveloped research area—"the suburbs"—newly theorized as an "ethnoburb." Through a rigorous community study of Chinese communities and neighborhoods in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles Chinatown to San Gabriel Valley), Li Wei shows us how the faces, cultures, and social relations of U.S. suburbs have been changing in the last several decades and continue to change today. The book's strong points include an effective comparison of Los Angeles Chinatown (the more traditional conceptualization of community in Asian American studies) and emerging ethnoburbs [End Page 440] (a relatively new but growing phenomenon in the United States), as well as the author's detailed attention to local, regional, global economic, and social forces that contribute to how ethnoburbs develop. After Ethnoburbs, the "crabgrass frontier" will no longer be about white-picket-fenced lives. This book is a timely and important contribution to the field of Asian American studies. [End Page 441]

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