Political and Civic Engagement of Chinese Americans in Ethnic Suburbs

Fall 2011
  • Undergraduate
Sophia Wang
Sociology, Political Science
Political and Civic Engagement of Chinese Americans in Ethnic Suburbs

My project focuses on the political and civic engagement of Chinese Americans in ethnic suburbs in California. I am interested in finding out whether communal resources and support stimulates sociopolitical participation of minorities living ethnic communities or whether ethnic communities provide enough familiarity and comfort that minorities do not feel the need for political participation. My focus is on Chinese Americans because Chinese immigrants have a long history in California, yet they are underrepresented in not only the electorate and government positions, but also academic research. I plan to interview two groups of Chinese American, one group that lives in predominately Chinese suburb and another group that lives in a more demographically diverse and heterogeneous suburb. In consideration of non-citizens, I will study civic engagement in addition to electoral politics. Through my interviews, I hope to find out how and why people choose to become involved and if there are
any patterns or trends in how Chinese Americans view and fulfill political or civic duty. I believe my research is significant because it will contribute to the understanding of this growing population in California and help organizations and political parties to mobilize minorities.

Listen to Sophia's presentation on her research at a CRG Thursday Forum:
http://crg.berkeley.edu/content/ugforum2012-audio