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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Chinese Restaurants in Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley: Spaces of Change and Permanence
by Lanza, Amanda Jacqueline, M.A., California State University, Los Angeles, 2020, 86; 28321540
Abstract (Summary)

Motivated by Chinese, Hong Kongese, and Taiwanese dining experiences in Los Angeles, as well as a chef and community events producer, I seek to identify the functions and roles of Chinese, Hong Kongese, Taiwanese and Chinese diaspora restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley and larger Los Angeles region.

The research was grounded in the theoretical foundations of free and third places and Bourdieu’s framework of taste. I incorporate elements from each construct to develop a new framework that connects directly to the dining context. The research methods include semi-structured interviews and data collection from historic and contemporary food publications. This work focuses on the relationships patrons have with restaurants and how these spaces function in regards to guests and community.

Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles serve as space where the family unfolds and patrons can strengthen their friendly and familial connections. Dining in Chinese restaurants provides an educational experience and allows Chinese Americans to connect with their Asian American identities and ancestral traditions and practices. As both a third place and free space, patrons transcend class barriers and come together in a collective space to enjoy specialty cuisines. For patrons of Chinese restaurants, taste and preferences did not dictate class barriers but more so transnational trends and heritage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Baker, Beth
Commitee: Ngin, ChorSwang, Sonnenschein, Aaron H.
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/9(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Geography, Asian American Studies
Keywords: Chinese restaurants, Cuisine, Dining, Free space, Los Angeles, Third place
Publication Number: 28321540
ISBN: 9798582590651
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