Chinatown Is Not For Sale: Immigrant and Youth Mobilization Against Gentrification in New York, San Francisco, and Boston.
This study examines the democratic implications of gentrification and displacement in working-class Chinese immigrant communities. In this multisite, multilingual, and multimodal study, I draw from two years of ethnographic fieldwork and oral history interviews with over one hundred individuals including tenants, community organizers, restaurant and garment workers, small business owners, artists, public health workers, nonprofit professionals, and elected officials. This research was made possible by working in close collaboration with grassroots organizations in all three cities. Bridging together literature on Asian diaspora studies, democratic theory, urban governance, race and ethnic studies, comparative immigration, gender and sexuality, and critical geography, this study provides a nuanced understanding of the conditions under which Chinese immigrants and youth are active in the making of urban space and urban politics, shifting way from a common narrative that portrays them as disengaged from democratic processes. From organizing intergenerational conversations on displacement in porcelain shops to amplifying resident voices through cultural production work and establishing tenant associations in tenement walkups to playing street volleyball as resistance, each chapter captures a snapshot of how frontline communities are mobilizing to stay in their homes and underscores the intimacies of home in shaping our political lives. Fundamentally, the research and methods used in this study broadens the scope of how we conceptualize American politics and where it unfolds on the ground, importantly shaping how scholars and practitioners understand the relationship between immigrant communities, democratic citizenship, and political possibilities.
Asian American politics; Chinatown; Community organizing; Urban and local politics; New York City; Political science; Asian American studies; American studies; American Politics
Mettler, Suzanne Bridget; Michener, Jamila
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International