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Asia on Main Street: Recent immigration to Worcester, MA in New England perspective

By Robert J. S. Ross


Worcester, MA, a middle sized regional city in transition from a manufacturing to a service industry base, has been a home to immigrants since the late 19 th Century. In the past Irish, Swedish, Armenian, and Italian immigrants followed the English settlers into the heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Later came Puerto Rican and Central American migrants. In the last decade something entirely new came to Worcester – immigrants from South and East Asia. The pattern of Asian settlement, especially of business enterprise, will complete the overview. It appears that there is a concentration of Asian owned retail stores in the heart of the poorest communities in Worcester – raising a familiar New York / LA pattern, where Asian entrepreneurs fill the role of middle-man minorities in communities otherwise subject to disinvestment. 1 Waves of immigration are like fingerprints. Each leaves a distinctive pattern, and those patterns tell the stories of their times. Great tides of history and social change toss families about the globe and they wash up here and there to make their ways as they can. As participants in the scientific world we view the result through the microscopes an

Year: 2011
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