This dissertation examines the politics of race and urban space in Boston’s Chinatown from 1943 to 1994. A diverse downtown neighborhood that survived multiple cycles of disinvestment and reinvestment while remaining home to a racialized immigrant community, New England’s oldest and last remaining Chinatown represents the complexity of U.S. racial formation and urban development processes despite its small geographic size. Using city and state archives, previously unexamined community organization records, and original oral histories with key Chinatown figures, this dissertation explores the spatial production of Chinatown, the conflicting visions for its development, and the ways in which Chinese Bostonians participated in the physical and cultural transformation of the city. This study draws on Asian American studies, urban history, and critical human geography to illuminate the spatial dimensions of racial formation and the significance of a racialized immigrant community to the making of a major American city. Complicating what are often considered fixed race and place identities in the urban environment, “Remaking Boston’s Chinatown” illustrates how the changing urban landscape constituted a crucial terrain for Chinese American identity and community formation in the second half of the twentieth century.
Chen, Thomas C.,
"Remaking Boston's Chinatown: Race, Space, and Urban Development, 1943-1994"
American Studies Theses and Dissertations.
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