Citation

Immigrant Owned Nail Salons in Rural America

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Abstract:

This study examines the work experiences of Asian immigrant nail technicians in a rural Midwestern town. I conducted semi-structured, life history interviews with eight female and fourteen male nail technicians. One of the respondents emigrated from Korea, three from Cambodia, and the remaining eighteen immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam. Drawing from the literature on ethnic enclaves and ethnic economies, I suggest that the nail salon itself takes on characteristics of an enclave community in this rural town. Long hours at the salon, filled with work and a great deal of down-time contribute to the strong connections between the employees of each salon, but not across salons. I discuss how these communities are intense but unstable – many of the nail technicians in the area spoke of a desire to relocate to areas where they may be closer to family or larger co-ethnic populations. Employment in a rural salon was consistently presented as a practical choice that nail technicians and managers made. Nail salons in rural areas face less competition than urban salons, allowing managers to set higher prices, and nail technicians to practice on customers with lower expectations. Among 1st, 1.5, and 2nd generation immigrants I report a heterogeneity of reasons for entering the nail business based on unique life histories. Despite the diversity, most technicians report a desire to help family or be able to support oneself.
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Association:
Name: Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.pacificsoc.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707898_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Deitz, Shiloh. "Immigrant Owned Nail Salons in Rural America" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon, Mar 27, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707898_index.html>

APA Citation:

Deitz, S. L. , 2014-03-27 "Immigrant Owned Nail Salons in Rural America" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707898_index.html

Publication Type: Formal research paper presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study examines the work experiences of Asian immigrant nail technicians in a rural Midwestern town. I conducted semi-structured, life history interviews with eight female and fourteen male nail technicians. One of the respondents emigrated from Korea, three from Cambodia, and the remaining eighteen immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam. Drawing from the literature on ethnic enclaves and ethnic economies, I suggest that the nail salon itself takes on characteristics of an enclave community in this rural town. Long hours at the salon, filled with work and a great deal of down-time contribute to the strong connections between the employees of each salon, but not across salons. I discuss how these communities are intense but unstable – many of the nail technicians in the area spoke of a desire to relocate to areas where they may be closer to family or larger co-ethnic populations. Employment in a rural salon was consistently presented as a practical choice that nail technicians and managers made. Nail salons in rural areas face less competition than urban salons, allowing managers to set higher prices, and nail technicians to practice on customers with lower expectations. Among 1st, 1.5, and 2nd generation immigrants I report a heterogeneity of reasons for entering the nail business based on unique life histories. Despite the diversity, most technicians report a desire to help family or be able to support oneself.


Similar Titles:
Gender and Ethnic Niche Formation: Korean Immigrant Women in the Nail Salon Industry

Moving up in Rural America: Socioeconomic Integration of Latinos in New Immigrant Destinations

The Vietnamese Nail Salon: a New Look at Ethnic Strategies in Immigrant Entrepreneurship

Reactions to Immigration-Related Diversity in Rural America


 
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