Gentrification and the Future of Work
in New York City's "Chinatowns"

Tarry Hum

[March 9, 2018]

6PM to 8PM

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan

New York City's “Chinatowns” are becoming increasingly inhospitable to both long-term residents and recent immigrants from working class backgrounds. Such immense changes in the landscape and intensive re-routings of both people and money can often be traced back to a political crisis—the attacks of September 11, 2001—and an economic crisis—the financial meltdown that peaked in Fall 2008. These recent events and forces represent a significant shift in the overall function of multi-ethnic Chinese neighborhoods in New York City, and their relationship to both the broader U.S. and Chinese economies.

This talk, based on an article for Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology, utilizes employment data from the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) to document fundamental shifts in Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park’s local economies, and examines the transition of New York City’s “Chinatowns” from sites of surplus labor to sites of surplus capital. Using this Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data, Tarry Hum and Samuel Stein compared the neighborhood economies of New York City’s “Chinatowns” during two periods, in 2000 (pre-9/11 crisis), and in 2015 (post-2008 “Great Recession”).

The transformations that Chinatown, Sunset Park and Flushing are undergoing not only are remaking the neighborhoods’ built environments and economic sectors, but also the modes of struggle labor utilizes to reproduce itself and make political claims.






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Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
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