Spatial Dispersion of Low-skilled Chinese Immigrants in the United States



Using a mixed method approach, I summarize a recent research program to study the spatial dispersion of Chinese immigrants from New York City to more remote and rural areas of the country. I highlight a new theoretical framework to understand the spatial dispersion of Chinese immigrants and the emergence of immigrant business patterns in new immigrant destinations. Finally, I discuss implications of this research for the assimilation paradigm, labor market for low-skilled immigrants, race relations, and continuing linkages between New York City and new immigrant destinations.


Zai Liang is a Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany and Visiting Chair Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University. He is the former chair of Asia and Asian American section of the American Sociological Association and was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City during 2014-2015. He is the recipient of the 2017-2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Activities and the 2020 Louis Wirth Best Paper Award from International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association. Dr. Liang’s research has been supported by many foundations including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and China Social Science Foundation among others. Since 2004, he has been serving as Director and Co- Director of Urban China Research Network. His main research interests are migration/immigration, urbanization, and urban sociology.

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