, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 59-71

First online:

A study on the sociospatial context of ethnic politics and entrepreneurial growth in Koreatown and Monterey Park

  • Sookhee OhAffiliated withUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City Email author 
  • , Angie ChungAffiliated withState University of New York

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The study examines the various sociospatial features of immigrant populations in two transnationally-linked ethnic enclaves in terms of how they may facilitate and constrain the politics of growth and development. In recent decades, the growing ethnic enclave economies of Koreatown and Monterey Park have witnessed the emergence of progrowth ethnic interest groups comprised of immigrant capitalists, entrepreneurs, developers, and organizations, who are playing key roles in politically spearheading (re)development projects in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Our aim is to understand how the sociospatial, entrepreneurial, and residential layout of these host municipalities set the context for the politics of growth in these ethnic enclave economies based on an analysis of GIS spatial mapping, 2000–2010 census data, and other secondary sources. The data suggests that Korean and Chinese elite face different political opportunities and challenges because of their different sociospatial characteristics—the former based on their greater entrepreneurial influence and weak electoral impact and the latter on their stronger political presence as residents.


Ethnic enclave Growth machine Koreatown Monterey Park Ethnic politics Immigrant entrepreneurship