chapter  23
19 Pages

D. A. Leslie, 'Femininity, Post-Fordism and the "New Traditionalism" ' (1993)

For a quarter of a century, Chinese restaurants, chip shops, and takeaways' have been a common feature of towns and cities throughout the country. Yet although they are the third largest ethnic community in Britain, the Chinese have received relatively little attention from politicians and researchers. Partly a result of their demographic dispersal, the low profile of Britain's Chinese has been due more to their isolation from the mainstream economy. For not only is the Chinese community concentrated in the fast food catering industry, in which workplaces are atomized and workers' organization difficult, but also ownership as well as the staffing of firms tends to lie in Chinese hands. This was confirmed by a Home Affairs Committee report in 1985 which estimated that about 90 per cent of Britain's Chinese were employed in the catering industry and that of these, perhaps 60 per cent were employed in small, family shops.