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John D. Montgomery Post-Doctoral


Laureen D. Hom received her PhD in Planning, Policy, and Design with an emphasis in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She also received a BA in Anthropology and Art History at University of California, Los Angeles and an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences, Urbanism and the Built Environment concentration at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Her research interests are in the areas of urban studies, ethnicity and race, neighborhood change, and the political economy of space. Her work also emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary approaches and community engagement to promote social equity and inclusion of historically underrepresented groups in academic and policy conversations.
Laureen’s dissertation, Revitalizing Los Angeles Chinatown: The Politics and Meaning of Change in an Urban Ethnic Enclave examines the political culture of the neighborhood. She analyzed the politics specific to community development and redevelopment since the 1965 Immigration Act, a major policy that changed Asian American communities and neighborhoods and coincided with cities beginning to face issues of gentrification. Laureen’s research explains how Chinese Americans continue to have a cultural and political attachment to Chinatowns, despite not necessarily living or working in these neighborhoods. The neighborhood continues to evolve as an ethnic space facilitating ethnic community formations across space. Yet, the increasing diversity and segmentation within the ethnic community, including generational differences, immigration histories, and class, contribute to the land use and development conflicts in Chinatown and how the Chinese American community continues to control neighborhood change. Her research contributes to both ethnic studies and urban planning by examining the intersections of immigration and race from the Asian American perspective to provide understandings of how urban development unfolds and impacts ethnic neighborhoods.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Laureen will continue to expand on her research on Los Angeles Chinatown to develop publications. Drawing from interviews and archival data, she will conduct a comparative historical analysis of displacement in Los Angeles and a narrative analysis to understand the contemporary arguments about gentrification in urban Chinatowns. Laureen will also teach at SUA, including Asian American Studies in Comparative Perspective. These courses will introduce students to the experiences of different ethnic communities in the U.S. and explore their histories and contemporary issues from a historical and social science perspective.

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