The Power of Urban Ethnic Places: Cultural Heritage and Community Life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Power of Urban Ethnic Places

Cultural Heritage and Community Life, 1st Edition

By Jan Lin


292 pages

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The Power of Ethnic Places discusses the growing visibility of ethnic heritage places in U.S. society. The book examines a spectrum of case studies of Chinese, Latino and African American communities in the U.S., disagreeing with any perceptions that the rise of ethnic enclaves and heritage places are harbingers of separatism or balkanization. Instead, the text argues that by better understanding the power and dynamics of ethnic enclaves and heritage places in our society, we as a society will be better prepared to harness the economic and cultural changes related to globalization rather than be hurt or divided by these same forces of economic and cultural restructuring.


"Lin’s timely and innovative book on the politics of urban ethnic places in contemporary America provides a much needed comparative examination into the intersection of race, political economy, and activism in contemporary cities. This is a must-read and novel resource for anyone interested in critical urban studies and comparative ethnic studies."—Arlene Davila, Anthropology, New York University

"Drawing on rich fieldwork data and rigorous analysis, as well as insight from his own involvements in community work and teaching in world cities from coast to coast, Jan Lin convincingly argues that ethnic heritage sites offer a tool in counterbalancing urban decay and promoting neighborhood stability and sustainability. It makes an important contribution to contemporary urban sociology. "—Min Zhou, Sociology and Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Chapter 1 Doing Ethnic History from Coast to Coast

Chapter 2 Ethnic Communities and Cultural Heritage

Chapter 3 Ethnicity in America from World’s Fair to World City

Chapter 4 Ethnic Places, Postmodernism and Urban Change in Houston

Chapter 5 Heritage, Art and Community Development in Miami’s Overtown

and Little Havana

Chapter 6 Removal and Renewal of Los Angeles Chinatown from the Frontier

Pueblo to the Global City

Chapter 7 Preservation and Cultural Heritage in New York’s Chinatown and

Lower East Side and Impact of the 9/11 Disaster

Chapter 8 The Death and Life of Urban Ethnic Places


Endnotes 334

About the Author

Jan Lin is emigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. in 1966. He has been teaching sociology at Occidental College since 1998. He is the author of Reconstructing Chinatown: Ethnic Enclave, Global Change (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), and The Urban Sociology Reader (London: Routledge, 2005).

About the Series

The Metropolis and Modern Life

This series brings original perspectives on key topics in urban research to today's students in a series of short accessible texts, guided readers, and practical handbooks. Each volume examines how long-standing urban phenomena continue to be relevant in an increasingly urban and global world, and in doing so, connects the best new scholarship with the wider concerns of students seeking to understand life in the twenty-first century metropolis.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban