The New Chinese America Summary

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Xiaojian Zhao in The New Chinese America explores the emergence of a new social hierarchy through the scope of the historical, economic, and social foundations of the Chinese American community. The new social hierarchy was revealed after the 1965 Immigration Act. Zhao gathered her information through a variety of methods including census statistics, archival material and a wide collection of oral histories and face-to-face interviews. She uses class analyses to shed light on the difficulties in the inner workings and internal dynamics of the Chinese American community; which include the survival of poor undocumented immigrants and the process of how social mobility occurs within the community. Through ethnic bonds, Chinese American have built …show more content…
Her statement was very important to the discourse of representation of Chinese American communities. The way in which Zhao presented the interviews in the book formulated a concept that portrayed Chinese American societies as having this fixed sense of identities and class. Chinese American are working class and strive for a better life for their children. On page 52 we see an example of a family hoping for their children to rise above their current social class. However, she presents discourse that contradicts this very statement. Lives of all human beings are different and strive for different goals in life. On page 53 we heard from a man that wanted to keep his job hidden from his family in China, not because he was embarrassed by his job but because of the criticism he would receive from others. Zhao used the interviewees to present prevailing assumptions and then presents evidence to undermine these assumptions or complicate them. She presents statistical information in how the niche jobs that are assumed to be dominated by Chinese have decreased in numbers significantly. A decline in laundries, restaurants and stores indicates that the ethnic economy no longer appeals the younger generation in the community. Through facts such as these after statements from the interviews changes the discourse on the conversation of Chinese American class and

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