Mobile Chinatowns: the future of community in a space of flows

Miller, Vince A. (2004) Mobile Chinatowns: the future of community in a space of flows. Electronic Journal of Social Issues, 2 (1). ISSN 1474-2918. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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In recent urban studies literature, it has been recognised that ethnic settlements in cities have undergone significant transformations, largely as a result of the 'globalisation' process. The term ethnoburb, for example, has begun to be used recently in reference to new suburban Chinese settlements in North American cities (particularly Los Angeles). These settlements have proved to be quantitatively different from traditional 'Chinatowns' in a number of ways. While accepting this new model of the Chinese ethnoburb (Li 1998), this paper goes on to ask how these changes, resulting largely from globalisation, and the rise of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, impact on the experience of this new space of immigration. That is, how is living and being in an ethnoburb different from living in a Chinatown? Through the use of in-depth interview data of Chinese-Canadian residents and users of the Richmond, British Columbia Chinese ethnoburb, I argue in this paper that the fundamental experiential characteristic of the Chinese ethnoburb is one of mobility (Urry 2000), which results in a fundamentally different ethnic social space, characterised by the experience of movement and the ability to be 'elsewhere'. In this sense, Richmond can be seen as a 'space of flows' rather that an 'ethnic enclave'. This is illustrated through and an examination of the mobilities of bodies, objects, and imaginations within the 'space' of the Richmond ethnoburb.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Space, Immigration, Globalisation, Chinese, Immigration, Diaspora, Transnationalism.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Vince Miller
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2008 08:44
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2014 09:32
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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