Chapter

Fixing Knowledge

Lisa Rose Mar

in Brokering Belonging

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199733132
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866533 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733132.003.0005
Fixing Knowledge

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In 1924, Robert Park, a sociologist from the University of Chicago, directed a study that asked: Were Asians more like blacks or whites? To find the answer, Anglo American researchers interviewed Chinese from British Columbia to California, starting with Vancouver, Canada. West Coast Chinese felt that Park’s answer could not be left to chance, so they mobilized the Chinese community to steer the researchers in a specific direction. Brokers hoped to win white scholars’ sympathy as well as to turn the power of social science against anti-Chinese policies. Chinese regarded the study as a battle of wits, a battle that the researchers did not know they were fighting. This meeting would help shape a pivotal set of ideas about immigration and race that would become known as the Chicago School of Sociology.

Keywords: immigration; assimilation; transnational; Chicago School of Sociology; model minority; research methods; ethnography; Chinese Canadians; Chinese diaspora; Chinese Americans

Chapter.  8716 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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