Political Participation and Ethnic Minorities: Chinese by Amy L. Freedman

By Amy L. Freedman

From ny City's Chinatown to city Indonesia, there are fifty-five million ethnic chinese language residing outdoors of China. Their powerful experience of neighborhood, in addition to their huge monetary clout, makes them a compelling staff with which to check immigrant political participation.

Amy Freedman's empirical research examines the hows and whys of chinese language out of the country political job in 3 assorted nations. whilst, and lower than what stipulations, do immigrants turn into lively within the political method? Does political impact stem from staff mobilization? What position do communal agencies and their leaders play in making a choice on participation? In answering those questions, Freedman assesses the ambitions and ambitions of ethnic groups coming into the political fray.

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Extra info for Political Participation and Ethnic Minorities: Chinese Overseas in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the United States

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Perhaps most appropriate for this study is the recent wave of scholarship that addresses the concept of diaspora. Such work tackles questions of identity and culture within a context of displacement, migration, and transculturation. 5 Thus American and Southeast Asian Chinese identity can be seen in relation to legal categories of “citizen” or “native” (the terms for native peoples in Malaysia is bumiputra, and in Indonesia it is pribumi), where ethnic identity is a political category. ACCULTURATION IN THE UNITED STATES In the United States, as the chapters on New York City and Monterey Park will explain, Chinese Americans have been singled out for discriminatory treatment in immigration and repeatedly have had their loyalty and “Americanness” questioned.

Kwong 1996:95) While Kwong describes the rise of a new social service elite, he views these leaders, who are mostly second-generation professionals, as only marginally helpful in addressing some social problems in Chinatown. So far, he argues, they have not changed the political power structure within Chinatown (1996:132). A non-Marxist variant of this class-based argument can be found in the works of John Horton (1992) and Louise Lamphere (1992). Horton looks at the increasing political involvement of the Chinese-American community in Monterey Park, California.

In the now classic study of participation in American politics, Verba and Nie find that social status determines how much an individual will participate in the political process. The degree to which an individual participates is mediated by the intervening effect of their civic attitudes and the structure of relevant institutions (Verba and Nie 1972:13–14). While they are less interested in the reasons for individual citizen participation than in ways that participation conditions the manner in which political decisions are made, Verba and Nie find that even once the legal impediments to participation are removed, political involvement is not equal.

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