My dissertation examines the construction of ethnic and hyphenated identities by exploring the settlement of American-born Chinese and new Chinese immigrants outside of urban Chinatowns during the Cold War decades. In particular, this project investigates how suburban and urban Chinese Americans negotiated their identity and created community ethnic networks in environments with relatively few Chinese American inhabitants. Did these Chinese Americans and new Chinese immigrants choose to play-up or erase their ethnic differences? How does this pattern of identity negotiation compare to the patterns that exist among other groups of Chinese Americans living in different socioeconomic and geographic areas? I use the experiences of these individuals as a lens through which to examine the complicated and paradoxical relationship between Cold War ideals of a diverse and democratic citizenry and the reality of racial discrimination and cultural marginalization in the mid-to-late twentieth century.
Department of History • 236 John Munroe Hall
Newark, DE 19716 •
Phone: 302-831-2371 •