"The Chinatown Idea" Article Review by Nicky

"The Chinatown Idea"
A review of Eric Liu's essay, "The Chinatown Idea".
# 148250 | 915 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 05, 2011 in Asian Studies (Asian American) , Sociology (Multiculturalism)

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The paper examines how in his essay, "The Chinatown Idea," author Eric Liu analyzes the concept of a 'Chinatown' within major metropolitan areas. The paper explains Liu's discussion on how Chinatown manufactures its own unique culture as a neighborhood, yet isolates Chinese culture as a museum piece for those who might find such an alternative culture to be threatening. The paper asserts that in reading about Liu's essay on Chinatown, the reader is forced to confront his or her own prejudices, not just about Chinese people and artifacts, but also about the experience of entering into the world of any foreign culture as a tourist.

From the Paper:

"There is also a kind of otherworldly quality to Chinatown, a sense of historical timelessness, as if the residents are not real, but kind of historical automatons, like something like the characters of an animated ride in Disneyworld: The residents of Chinatown "are not so much alive as animated" and "exist mainly so that American characters may move past them, through them, around them" (Liu 173). There is a romantic charm in the notion that outsiders only 'pass through' while residents are in a kind of stop time, insular and part of the background, not part of the larger cultural narrative. Thus the Chinatown idea is fundamentally that Asia is 'different'--exotic, of another world, rather than part of 'America.'"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chinatown San Francisco. April 21, 2009. http://www.sanfranciscochinatown.com/
  • Liu, Eric. "The Chinatown Idea." From Seeing and Writing. Bedford St. Martins, 2009.

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

"The Chinatown Idea" (2011, October 05) Retrieved June 07, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/article-review/the-chinatown-idea-148250/

MLA Format

""The Chinatown Idea"" 05 October 2011. Web. 07 June. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/article-review/the-chinatown-idea-148250/>