Multiplexing Racial and Ethnic Planes: Chinese American Politics in Globalized Immigrant Suburbs

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UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press


Contemporary American suburbs offer critical insights into the multiple planes of racial and ethnic consciousness and community formations that shape new Chinese American political agendas. In a 2009 Amerasia Journal article entitled "A New Gateway: Asian American Political Power in the 21st Century," I examined the importance of location for understanding the ability of Asian American communities to attain and sustain elected representation. Like real estate, location matters in explaining the political question of "where" Asian Americans are winning elected representation in American politics. That article's thesis was that, rather than focusing solely on metropolitan gateways that had been central to the twentieth-century experiences of Asian Americans, we need also to focus on the small- to medium-sized twenty-firstcentury gateway suburbs with total populations between 30,000 to 110,000. These locations are where the pathways to political incorporation are happening more rapidly and dramatically, as Asian ethnic media and politically mature community-based organizations and interest groups are emerging within largely Asian immigrant suburbs.