Koreatown Redevelopment and
the LA Garment Industry

by Angie Y. Chung

[May 12, 2017]

6PM to 8PM

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan


Prof. Angie Y. Chung's presentation will examine how ethnic succession and competition with Persian Jewish garment industry owners symbolized by the construction of California Mart and San Pedro Mart has set the political and economic backdrop for facilitating rapid financial transaction flows that have spurred Koreatown’s growth.

Within a decade after rioters in 1992 destroyed thousands of Korean-owned businesses throughout Koreatown, the ethnic enclave has witnessed a remarkable economic rebirth marked by the rise of luxury condominiums, trendy nightclubs, large-scale restaurants, and other upscale amenities along this key transportation corridor to downtown Los Angeles. The question is whether or not this immigrant-driven growth and redevelopment is the result of coordinated political efforts and solidarity among Korean elites.

Prof. Chung argues that the economic rebirth, development, and financialization of Koreatown suggests some elements of bounded ethnic political solidarity and coordinated efforts of Korean apparel factory owners within the Korean community but also highlights increasing political fragmentation and competition among these actors who see Koreatown as both a symbolic and economic strategy for securing their personal investments in the face of non-Korean competitors in the downtown district. Prof. Chung shows how the dynamics of ethnic political solidarity and conflict are shaped by three major factors: namely, ethnic competition with Jewish garment industry owners, the changing political economy of Los Angeles, and generational transitions in leadership.




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Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
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