Two Kinds Historical Context

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Chinese Immigration to America

San Francisco was (and still is) one of the largest Chinese American communities in the United States. When immigrant groups settle in one area and create extensive social and economic structures, these areas are called enclaves. By the time the mothers in The Joy Luck Club (and Tan's own parents) arrived in California, there was a large and thriving Chinese American enclave.

The first wave of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Until the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which was designed to limit the numbers of Chinese entering the country and prevented those already here from becoming citizens, as many as 30,000 a year arrived in the United States from mainland China.

These immigrants were almost exclusively male and "only the hardest, dirtiest, most menial jobs were open to them," according to social...

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This section contains 589 words
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