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Home > Author > John Jung
John Jung

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Member Since: Mar, 2009

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  John Jung           

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Reinventing myself after 40 years as a professor of psychology, I now am an "historical ethnographer," recording overlooked aspects of the Chinese American experience. This new career has led to writing 4 books and giving numerous talks to many community groups, professional societies, universities, and historical museums.

Background Information

My parents immigrated from China in the 1920s and we were the only Chinese in Macon, Georgia, operating a laundry until we moved to San Francisco in the early 1950s.  At times when I was growing up, I felt embarrassed about my background.  It was not until I wrote a memoir, Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South that I began to understand the positive impact these early experiences had on shaping my character.

I did not anticipate that writing this memoir would stimulate me to learn about Chinese laundries in general and how vitally critical they were in allowing late 19th century immigrants to gain an economic toehold despite rampant hostility and racism against them in the U. S. and Canada. This awakening led to the writing of Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain. I was proud of the legacy that legions of Chinese laundrymen created for their families and felt inspired to pay tribute to all the unsung heroes who toiled in this occupation for decades.

At a presentation to the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, a Chinese who grew up in Mississippi was fascinated by similarities between our southern experiences and encouraged me to consider researching the Mississippi Chinese who almost exclusively operated small family-run grocery stores in the Delta.  I discovered a fascinating story about how these few Chinese succeeded during an era of rigid racial segregation that needed to be told and wrote, Chopsticks in the Land of Cotton: Lives of Mississippi Delta Chinese Grocers.

Similarly, encouragement from a Chinese restaurateur attending one of my talks led to the writing of Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants, a history and psychology of the development, growth, and decline of Cantonese-based Chinese family-run restaurants over the past century.

In writing these books, I came to realize that my mission is to record aspects of the experiences of Chinese immigrants and their families that have not received much attention in historical accounts.

I believe it iis important for present and future generations, irrespective of their background, to understand the struggles, achievements, and contributions of all ethnic groups to society.

Birth Place
Macon, GA USA

Grants from National Institute of Mental Health for Minority Student Mentoring Programs, 1981-2007.
Distinguished Professor,1998
Most Valuable Professor,2000, 2001
College of Liberal Arts, California State University

Additional Information

In addition to my Chinese American history research, I maintain my identity as a research psychologist and revised my alcoholism textbook, Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Behavior, which should be published in summer, 2009.

Contact Information
Yin and Yang Press
4413 Via Majorca 
Cypress CA 90630  
Contact Author: John Jung
Favorite Links

When You Drink Water, Remember the Source
Overview of book talks and signings across the United States

Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South
A site describing background for "Southern Fried Rice" with many links for other sites dealing the Chinese immigrant history prior to 1965.

My Academic Life
An overview of my 40 years as an academic psychologist

Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Behavior
A link to the second edition of my textbook on Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Behavior to be published in summer, 2009.

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