Ethnic Solidarity and Ethnic Conflict in Monterey Park: The Global Enclave Theory


Angela Chan

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Monterey Park, a 7.7 mile city 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles is the suburban setting of a large Chinese ethnic enclave. Monterey Park?s demographic shift from a predominantly white community to a majority Asian city was complicated by inter-ethnic conflicts between the established white and Latino residents and the new Chinese settlers. This rough transition period in the 1980?s has led some scholars and the media to focus mainly on interethnic conflict between non-Asians and Asians, and thus diverted attention from intra-ethnic conflict within the Chinese community. My study seeks to elucidate the fact that the Chinese community is not monolithic; rather, it is diverse in terms of language, national origin, socioeconomic class, and education. My research also points out that the large Chinese business ethnic enclave in Monterey Park is a phenomenon not adequately addressed by four dominant theories on solidarity in ethnic enclaves: middle man minority theory, situational theory, cultural theory, and enclave economy theory. Instead, I developed a conceptual model called the ?global enclave theory? in order to emphasize the impact of the quickly developing global economy on inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic relations. My primary method for developing this model was through interviews with owners and employees of 25 Chinese restaurants in Monterey Park. Studying ethnoburbs like Monterey Park is important because these cities demonstrate the impact of globalization and a quickly rising and highly diverse immigrant population on racial dynamics in America.


M. M. Taylor




Ford-Anderson Fellowship

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