Spatial Strategies of Haitian Businesses in the Diaspora : The Case of Metropolitan Miami (2001-2009)

Abstract : ln the United States, the development of Haitian communities - mainly in the Northeast and Florida - has been accompanied by the settlement of ethnic businesses that have provided goods and services, in response to the cultural needs of immigrants as weil as the need to maintain symbolic ties with the homeland. Moreover, the presence of ethnic businesses has played a key role in the social, geographic and identity structuring of immigrant neighborhoods. At the same time, its contribution to the social and cultural transformation of US cities with a strong Haitian presence has been remarkable. In the context of the significant impact of contemporary immigration on demographics, culture and urban change in the United States, it seems relevant to focus on the relation between ethnicity, residential patterns and the emergence of immigrant business communities. The Haitian business community of Miami is probably the most visible and diverse one in the Haitian diaspora. It has experienced a remarkable transformation since its emergence in the 1970s, from a small enclave to a diversified transnational business community. Once confined to the ethnic neighborhood of Little Haiti, Haitian businesses have followed the northward residential movement of immigrants to the suburbs. ln this study, I focus on the evolution of Haitian businesses' spatial patterns and their activities over the last decade (2001-2009) in the Miami metropolitan area. This article explores how Haitian businesses have responded to the specific needs of immigrants and, consequently, how immigrants' social and residential patterns have impacted the dynamics of ethnic businesses.
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Submitted on : Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 3:03:28 PM
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Cedric Audebert. Spatial Strategies of Haitian Businesses in the Diaspora : The Case of Metropolitan Miami (2001-2009). Journal of Haitian Studies, 2013, 19 (1), pp. 217-234. ⟨halshs-01456547⟩



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