Ethnic Economy without Ethnic Enclave: Vietnamese ethnic economies in Portland, Oregon and Buffalo, New York

Authors: Linh Nguyen*, Kent State University
Topics: Ethnicity and Race, Economic Geography
Keywords: ethnic economy, ethnic entrepreneurship, embeddedness, ethnic enclave
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 28
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This project follows previous research on ethnic entrepreneurs by studying the dynamics of ethnic entrepreneurship in two smaller cities where the Vietnamese communities are of different sizes. The expectation is that Vietnamese ethnic economies in these two cities retain the reliance on co-ethnic community, while there are evidences for embeddedness. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Portland, Oregon and Buffalo, New York to answer the following: “How does the Vietnamese ethnic community affect Vietnamese ethnic economies’ operation?”. The paper presents the dynamic of how ethnic economies operate without the existence of ethnic enclave. It also argues that the involvement of ethnic communities in the operation of Vietnamese ethnic economies get weaker over time. Instead, the Vietnamese ethnic economies are growing beyond the effects of the ethnic community.

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