Seeing Beyond an 'Ethnic Enclave': the Time/Space of Manchester Chinatown

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Research on Chinatowns stresses the spatial aspects of their production as communal urban spaces. This is particularly evident in the prevailing rhetoric of ethnic ‘enclaves’ that is common in the literature on Chinatowns. This article stresses the importance of taking into account the temporal dimensions of the examinations of space and migrants’ relationships with the city. The argument maintains that, although Manchester Chinatown incorporates many layers of time, only some of them are acknowledged. This view ties both space and people into a particular temporality that is associated with a predetermined culture and tradition. The article shows how re-location from Chinatown to a non-ethnically-defined urban area makes it possible for community organisations to depart from the essentialised ethnic, cultural, and social associations produced through dominant understandings of migrant communal space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-115
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Chinatown, Manchester, space, time, migrant community


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