Under Contract and Coming in 4th Quarter 2017
Chop Suey and Sushi from Sea to Shining Sea: Chinese and Japanese Cuisine Restaurants in the United States. Edited by Bruce Makoto Arnold, Tanfer Emin Tunc, and Raymond Douglas Chong. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press. (Book approved; publication date sometime in 2017; not the final cover design)
The history of restaurants in the United States is as rich and varied as the ethnicities that populate the nation. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, restaurants began to transform from an institution for only the rich or only for special occasions into institutions embodying the middle-class aspirations of consumer choice and variety. When combined with America’s growing multiculturalism in the mid-twentieth century, these consumerist aspirations gave rise to a sense of cosmopolitanism that translated into the widespread and continued growth of restaurants serving both homegrown and foreign cuisines. Restaurants have become woven into the very fabric American culture: there are almost one million restaurants in the United States—one restaurant for every 314 people residing within the country—and almost sixty percent of Americans dine at a restaurant at least once a week. Over thirteen million people are employed by the restaurant industry annually and almost half of all Americans will have worked in a restaurant in their lifetimes.
Restaurants are an inseparable aspect of American history and culture, and eateries impact the lives of each and every person residing on American soil. Initially, Asian immigrant—especially Chinese—employment was circumscribed by American society due to racial prejudice. Individuals of Asian descent were only permitted to work in the service sector, mainly in restaurants and laundries, so out of necessity, they pursued these occupations. Over time, they created a niche for themselves in the provision of such services, and even after employment restrictions were lifted, they continued to work in these areas, passing businesses along from generation to generation and welcoming new immigrants into the fold. Although Asian restaurants in the US have a racially troubled origin, for many, these restaurants have become a pathway to the American dream—a conduit to prosperity and success--which is fueled by consumer demand. This is one explanation for the prevalence of Asian cuisine restaurants in the United States today. Clearly, Asian cuisine has made an indelible culinary imprint on the US, with Asian restaurants playing a significant role in American culture in general..
Critical Perspectives of Black Education: Spirituality, Religion, and Social Justice. I am a co-editor of this anthology. Purchase directly here.