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Mutations of Vancouver’s Chinatown: Spatial redistribution and new territorial logic's

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The old Chinatown: Ghettoisation and logic of segregation.
    1. Socio-economic profile of earliest Chinese immigrants.
    2. Spatial segregation.
    3. The School of Chicago's model: The ghetto.
  3. The new Chinatown: A voluntary and intentional separation.
    1. New socio-economic profile of Chinese migrants.
    2. A new logic of aggregation, the concept of 'ethnoburb'.
    3. The new spatial concentration as a voluntary choice.
    4. Transnational logics.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

Large cities tend to be inhabited by minorities, immigrants and trans-national communities. In order to study this new dynamic, I have chosen the city of Vancouver (British Columbia) in Canada. Actually, I will be spending my 3rd year in the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; that is why I am very interested in this city. Vancouver was for a long time the gateway for Chinese immigrants coming to Canada, because of its geographical situation. Today, Toronto is becoming the main city because of the number of immigrants that live there, but Vancouver remains very important for studying the Chinese community's settlements. In this paper, I will be especially interested in social geography of Chinese immigrants, and in the relationships between immigration and urban change. Indeed, types of habitat and geographical repartition in the city are the identification of the separation of social groups. New trends of settlement show the transformation of the place of the Chinese population in the social hierarchy in Vancouver.

[...] I will analyse in a second section the new Chinatown, its spatial logics of deliberate aggregation and I will show that it fits to the concept of ?ethnoburb?. Moreover I will highlight hat Chinese migration to Vancouver is now part of a transnational process. II/ The new Chinatown: a voluntary and intentional separation A. New socio-economic profile of Chinese migrants In the 1960's, there was no more restrictions about ethnic origins of immigrants. They were chosen because of there skills: it was a process of brain drain. [...]


[...] Limits of the model for Vancouver Therefore, the ghetto is the first and incontrovertible step in adaptation of new migrants to their new environment. Then, they go to suburbs; which means having access to the middle-class. However, this model met some limits in the middle of the 20th century in Vancouver. Indeed, this model fits above all to Mediterranean migrants, but not really to Africans and Asiatic migrants. Moreover, in the Chinese community in Vancouver, there were not a lot of women but male workers who sent money to there family stayed in China. [...]


[...] It reveals new social geographies: traditional theories of immigrant settlement were built on the assumption that suburbanization was an outcome of both cultural assimilation and economic mobility. Emerging patterns of suburbanized immigrant settlement in Vancouver (and more generally speaking in Canada) suggest a more complex picture. In Vancouver, the tremendous growth in the number of immigrants living in suburban municipalities has actually been associated with a slight increase in the degree of spatial separation between ethnic groups. The concept of ethnoburb This ethnic concentration in suburbs is qualified of ethnoburb by Wei Li[9]. [...]

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