The Rise and Decline of Chinatown, Washington D.C. Between the Dollar and the Dragon

Dr Jan Rath
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Chinatown in Washington, D.C., fulfils most preconditions for the successful transformation of ethnic precincts into tourist attractions: it is safe, accessible, based on a positive attitude towards Chinese culture, connected to a larger leisure industry, and supported by the local government. There is nevertheless widespread concern about its lack of authenticity and Disneylike future. A specific interaction of the political and symbolic economy accounts for this perverse effect. The primary focus of this paper is the role of immigrant entrepreneurs in the emerging tourist industry as well as their interaction with other actors of the urban tourist industry, especially the local government.

Keywords: Ethnic Diversity, Tourism, Public Space
Stream: Politics of Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Jan Rath

Associate Professor and Co-Director of Research, Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES), University of Amsterdam

An anthropologist, Dr Jan Rath is also active in political science, the sociology of law, economics and economic sociology. He previously held academic posts at the Center for the Study of Social Conflicts in Leiden University, the Center for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Society in Utrecht University, the Institute for the Sociology of Law in the Catholic University of Nijmegen, and the Department of Sociology in the University of California at Los Angeles

Ref: D05P0063