Episode 189 – Filipino American Suburbanization with Dr. James Zarsadiaz

Most Filipino Americans today live in the suburbs – Daly City, National City, Carson, Jersey City, Skokie, Oxon Hill, and on and on.  When you think of the Filipino American community since the 1970s, we are by and large a suburban community.  There are reasons for this, of course, many of which we focus on in this TFAL episode.

In the first iteration of “TFAL presents Brown Bag Baon,” Joe has a conversation with Dr. James Zarsadiaz, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Yuchengco Philippines Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, to talk about the history of Filipino American suburbanization.  What is the history of Filipinos in American suburbs?  Why are so many Filipino Americans attracted to suburban life – whether in working-class or middle-class suburbs?  What kind of racism do they face there?  What kind of politics are Filipino Americans (and Asian Americans in general) engaged in their suburban towns?  How does suburban living foster a unique style of Asian American conservatism?  Using his research on the history of the East San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles (Walnut, Diamond Bar, Hacienda Heights, Chino Hills, etc.) as an anchor of discussion, James and Joe unpack the complex and layered history, culture, and politics of Filipino American suburbanization.

Make sure to grab a copy of James’s book Resisting Change in Suburbia: Asian Immigrants and Frontier Nostalgia in L.A.!

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Did you grow up in the suburbs?  Do you live there now?  What are your experiences living in a suburban community?  Let us know! Leave us a voicemail (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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