Daniel Y. Zipp. Chinatowns Lost? The Birth and Death of Urban Neighborhoods in an American City

Link to full City & Community (Featured Article, Dec. 2021)

This article historicizes and links the ways in which ethnically segregated neighborhoods are born and die in American cities. Based on a historical ethnography of five Chinatowns in Los Angeles from 1850 to 1950, I highlight Chinese residents’ agency in both the birth and death of their own neighborhoods through a process called neighborhood architomy. Chinese residents split off new neighborhoods from dying neighborhoods while maintaining their institutions and memories, showing how neighborhood death and birth are intimately intertwined. To understand either process fully, we must treat neighborhoods and their residents as sociological and historical agents at both the birth and death of neighborhoods.

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