Urban Chinatowns are dynamic, contested spaces that have continued to persist amid changes in the American cityscape. These neighborhoods continue to be significant for many, from the residents and workers who rely on Chinatown for their livelihoods to the broader city-dwelling and Chinese American communities who recognize its cultural heritage and economic value. In The Power of Chinatown, Laureen D. Hom provides a critical examination of the politics shaping the trajectory of development in one of the oldest urban Chinatowns in the United States: Los Angeles's.
Working from ethnographic fieldwork, Hom chronicles how Chinese Americans continue to gravitate to Chinatown—despite being a geographically dispersed community—and how they have both resisted and encouraged processes of gentrification and displacement. The Power of Chinatown bridges understandings of community, geography, political economy, and race to show the complexities and contradictions of building community power, illuminating how these place-based ethnic politics might give rise to a more expansive vision of Asian American belonging and a just city for all.