Topics & Articles

Home

Culture

Ethnic Groups

History

Issues

Links

Viet Nam



Search

or Browse the Archives

or Gets Posts by Tags



Most Popular Books on Asian-Nation

Miscellaneous

All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

Blog powered by WordPress


Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

December 31, 2010

Written by C.N.

End-of-Year Stories and Lists About Asian Americans

The end of the year naturally brings stories, articles, and lists from media organizations and bloggers that summarize noteworthy news events, topics, and issues from the past year. On this blog, you may have read my posts about “Racial/Ethnic Relations in 2010: The Best & Worst” and “The Most Significant Racial/Ethnic Issue of the Decade.

Along the same lines, other writers and bloggers around the internet have also posted their own end-of-year stories, articles, and lists related to Asian Americans, so I list and summarize the ones that I have recently come across (thanks to 8Asians for taking the lead on mentioning these lists):


Asian Pop’s 2010 Year in Review

  • My colleague and pop culture expert Jeff Yang reviews the most newsworthy stories about Asian and Asian American popular culture from this past year.


Top 10 Asian Americans in Pop Culture

  • Columnist Keith Chow at Pop Culture Shock counts down the top 10 Asian Americans who made newsworthy achievements this past year in mainstream American pop culture.


The Most Underreported Stories of the Decade

  • The good folks at New America Media compile their list of stories about people and communities of color that were largely ignored by the mainstream American media.


20 Essential Works of Asian-American Literature

  • A blog that promotes graduate education opportunities compiles a list of the 20 most important literary works related to Asian Americans.


Asia Pacific Arts’ Best of 2010

  • The writers of the online magazine Asia Pacific Arts (published by the University of Southern California U.S.-China Institute) select their favorite Asian and Asian American performers, film, music, TV dramas, choreography, video games, behind-the-scenes artists, etc. of 2010 (thanks to AngryAsianMan.com for mentioning this).


Top 10 Asian American Bachelors of 2010

  • The folks at Asiance make their case for the 10 hottest Asian American bachelors of 2010.


Best Asian American Songs of 2010

  • Over at Hyphen magazine, Los Angeles-based soul/R&B musician Dawen recounts his favorite songs from each month of 2010.


Top 10 Amazing Asian American Achievers of 2010

  • Columnist Nina Huang at Northwest Asian Weekly recounts the stories of 10 Asian Americans who made remarkable achievements this past year.


10 Best Asian Films of the Year

  • Again at Northwest Asian Weekly, Andrew Hamlin summarizes his list of the 10 best Asian films/movies of 2010.


Top 10 Asian American Sports Figures of 2010

  • The crew at Northwest Asian Weekly have been quite busy apparently, turning out another top 10 list, this time of the most newsworthy Asian American athletes and sports personalities of 2010.


Top 10 Asian American Cities

  • The best cities for Asian Americans to live in, as compiled by the blog Amped Asia.

July 28, 2008

Written by C.N.

Consequences of Changing Racial Composition of Cities

In case you were not already familiar, the term “White Flight” refers to the phenomenon of White residents leaving central urban areas of major cities and moving into suburbs or even farther. This process began after World War II and coincided with the birth of suburbanization.

Unfortunately, White flight is also associated with the systematic segregation and “ghettoization” of people of color in these same central urban areas. That is, a combination of unequal government policies, discriminatory lending practices, and unethical real estate agents led to a vast majority of the Black population being prevented from joining the suburbanization movement and instead, were left behind isolated in neglected and marginalized central cities.

However, things apparently are changing. As the Wall Street Journal reports, in recent years, demographers and city planners have noticed that in many metropolitan areas, White flight has slowed considerably and in many of these cities, has actually been reversed. That is, because of increased investment and development (some would call it gentrification) of downtown areas, many Whites are returning to the central cities. However, this slow reversal of White flight has led to some unanticipated consequences for people of color:

Between 2000 and 2006, eight of the 50 largest cities, including Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, saw the proportion of whites increase, according to Census figures. The previous decade, only three cities saw increases.

The changing racial mix is stirring up quarrels over class and culture. Beloved institutions in traditionally black communities — minority-owned restaurants, book stores — are losing the customers who supported them for decades. As neighborhoods grow more multicultural, conflicts over home prices, taxes and education are opening a new chapter in American race relations. . . .

In recent years, minority middle-class families, particularly African-Americans, have been moving to the suburbs in greater numbers. At the same time, Hispanic immigrants (who poured into cities from the 1970s through the 1990s) are now increasingly bypassing cities for suburbs and rural areas, seeking jobs on farms and in meat-packing plants.

Cities have spent a decade tidying up parks and converting decaying factories into retail and living space. That has attracted young professionals and empty-nesters, many of them white.

The article goes on to mention a few more interesting points. First is that as middle-class Blacks leave the central cities, those who are left are predominantly lower-income and as a result, the tax base gets smaller as well, further reinforcing and perpetuating poverty.

Second is that as White residents slowly return to the central cities, some tensions with residents of color have risen. Such tensions may initially be based on class differences (i.e., most returning Whites are middle class or affluent) while resident of color are more likely to be working class), but inevitably, it leads to racial overtones.

For example, the article mentions that in New York City, a group of White parents proposed creating a new, separate school inside Public School 84. Not surprisingly, a large number of minority parents saw this proposal as blatant racial segregation, since the proposed new school would presumably consist almost entirely of White students.

From a sociological point of view, this trend of reversing White flight is most interesting because it represents an 180 degree turn of a long-established and momentous process that has taken decades to occur, has resulted in significant social changes and inequalities, and has still not ended entirely.

With that in mind and at least on the surface, we should be thankful for its reversal. However, as the article points out, the return of Whites to central cities has led to a different set of problems and tensions, many of them rather unexpected.

It just goes to show that race relations is not a simple equation that can be solved easily. Instead, it is a dynamic and fluid mix of historical and contemporary factors that operates on many levels and can have multiple and contradictory outcomes. In other words, we as sociologists have our work cut out for us here.