Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Anita I. Drever

Committee Members

Lydia M. Pulsipher, Bruce Ralston


Immigration is changing the U.S. South in unprecedented ways. The South is no longer nearly the exclusive domain of whites and blacks as Hispanics and Asians comprise increasingly influential minorities in towns and cities throughout the region. Immigrants, many of whom are recent arrivals, are choosing to start entrepreneurial business ventures rather than go to work for someone else. This research examines immigrant-owned entrepreneurial establishments along two business corridors in metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama. It answers the following questions: (1) Why is an international corridor developing as opposed to a single group ethnic enclave? (2) What initially brought immigrant-entrepreneurs to Birmingham, a medium-sized metropolitan area that has experienced minimal in-migration in the last half century? (3) What factors explain the location of the international corridor? (4) How have Birmingham and the suburban cities of Hoover and Homewood, where the international corridor is located, reacted to the arrival of new immigrants and immigrant-entrepreneurs? I answer these questions using a multi-method approach that includes statistical analysis, archival research, personal observations and semi-structured open-ended interviews.

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