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Author Quintana, Isabella Seong-Leong
Title National Borders, Neighborhood Boundaries: Gender, Space and Border Formation in Chinese and Mexican Los Angeles, 1871--1938
book jacket
Descript 272 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 72-03, Section: A, page: 1058
Advisers: Philip Deloria; Maria Montoya
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Michigan, 2010
A study of the plaza area in the city of Los Angeles, this dissertation explores how national borders were mapped onto neighborhood geographies in the making of a racially segregated urban landscape. From the 1870s through the 1930s, the plaza area was home to Mexicans, Chinese and others who played varying roles in the formation of community. Places that came to be known as "Chinatown" and "Sonoratown" became not only sites of racial difference but also locations that were designated "foreign" districts; thus, they were located ideologically outside of the geopolitical borders of the U.S. nation-state despite their location within U.S. territory. I argue that the U.S. conquest of former Mexican territories, deportation campaigns, Mexican repatriation, and Chinese exclusion were simultaneous processes of border formation that affected the social relationships of Los Angeles residents. In the making of what I call the "urban borderlands," multiracial social and spatial configurations of plaza area neighborhoods were shaped not only by the racialization of places known as "Chinatown" and "Sonoratown" but also by the shifting locations and meanings of U.S. nation-state borders, including at times immigration exclusion
Linking race, class, gender and nation, this study offers an understanding of community formation in the context of rapid industrialization and modernization. Plaza area residents made meaning of their local geography through conflicts over space, limited resources, exclusion and deportation movements, and industrialization. Through spatial and material culture analyses of public spaces, home spaces, and city geography, this thesis shows how architecture and street spaces might be used to understand the social relationships of Mexican and Chinese residents. In doing so, it examines the different and sometimes opposing spatial imaginaries of Mexican and Chinese residents, reformers, city officials, and city boosters
By examining both pivotal events in which Chinese and Mexican bodies were removed from urban space, and the everyday lives of these residents, this study contributes to a new understanding of not only working-class, immigrant and urban U.S. history, but also Chicana/o and Asian American Studies. In doing so, it illuminates how U.S. global imperialism took on local manifestations in places such as Los Angeles
School code: 0127
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 72-03A
Subject American Studies
History, United States
Asian American Studies
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Hispanic American Studies
Alt Author University of Michigan
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