Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

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Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department


Chinese food and restaurants have been a staple of the American diet since the mid twentieth century, despite the decades of discrimination and racism that Chinese immigrants have encountered since their immigration to the United States. Starting from the nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants faced racial discrimination due to already established stereotypes like Orientalism, which marked them as foreign yet exotic. As Chinese immigrants had limited tools for mobility in the nineteenth century, using Orientalism allowed for economic success by ways of their restaurants, but it was a double-edged sword in that its associations of depravity and sin as well as exoticism and allure often brought a reinforcement of social discrimination along with it.