Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Accusations against Asian, particularly Chinese, “cheap labor” has been a persistent theme in the historical experience of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and Asian Indian immigrant workers. Whereas they were indeed paid lower wages than white workers, they were by no means servile laborers. Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino immigrant workers on both the U.S. mainland and in Hawaii actively organized unions and carried out strikes. In addition, Japanese immigrants in the early twentieth century were accused of being “invaders” who came to colonize and claim the American West for Japan’s expanding empire. Beginning in the 1950s, the socioeconomic status of Asian Americans gradually improved. Today the Asian American population shows a bimodal distribution, with a large cluster of well-paid and highly educated professionals and businesspeople at the higher end of the socioeconomic scale and another large concentration of low-wage workers at the lower end.

Keywords: immigrant workers, cheap labor, invaders, colonize, unions, strikes, socioeconomic status, bimodal distribution, professionals, businesspeople

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.