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Asian-American Civic and Political Participation in Boston Enclaves: The Role of Resources and Community Organizing

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Hung, Richard
Conference: Workshop on the Workshop 3
Location: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: June 2-6
Date: 2004
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/6492
Sector: Social Organization
Urban Commons
Region: North America
Subject(s): citizen participatory management
community
political behavior
ethnicity
Asian Americans
Abstract: "Asian Americans in the selected Boston enclaves are increasingly active in multiple modes of civic and political participation. But there is quite a distance for them to catch up with the rest of the population. Having more resources in the form of financial and human capital would enhance Asian American participation, as well as narrow the gap with the rest of the population. The pattern of Asian American community organizing varies with the needs of the individual enclaves. The more resourceful enclaves focus on cultural and spiritual enrichment alone, but they may provide significant leadership to other communities with fewer resources. The less resourceful enclaves balance the two with providing social services and a voice to help the community participate more fully in the economic and political affairs of the larger society. The lack of resources in community organizing can be offset by favorable public policies as in the case of Cambodian Americans in Lowell and Lynn. The case of the city of Boston demonstrates that active organizing at the collective community level may stimulate various forms of individual Asian American civic and political participation to a point far beyond the prediction based on the financial and human resources in the enclave."

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