The Immigrant Advantage by Claudia Kolker | Free Essay Example

The Immigrant Advantage by Claudia Kolker

Words: 561
Topic: Sociology


In her book The Immigrant advantage Claudia Kolker describes the main ideas of a hui, a specific kind of the money club which is usually organized by immigrants from Vietnam. She states great importance of these clubs in helping immigrants recover from their migration and obtain some financial independence.

The author also describes these clubs as the good way to save money not wasting it on some trifles. Underlining the national character of this money saving system, the author discusses the impossibility of working of this system for the citizens of the USA, illustrating it on her own example. The work of these huis is very important as it can really help people in need and make them save some money, however it can work only within a framework of concrete mentality.

The Main Idea

The main idea of a hui is that “every month, cash in hand, members meet to contribute their dues. And each month a different player takes that lump sum home, interest-free” (Kolker 20). It is quite simple and effective at the same time. The author gives bright examples to illustrate its effectives by describing cases, connected with different Vietnam immigrants. All of them show the reliable character of these money clubs, or huis.

One more thing the author mentions is the national character of a hui. She connects it with the peculiarities of the mentality of Asian people. She underlines the reaction of the leader of a money club Dang Nguyen to the question about the impossibility of finding the needed sum of money. Is seems impossible for him to avoid payment, even is some extra cases.”Asian people usually have a little money put aside for emergencies” (Kolker 28).

That is why this type of financial mutual help is not peculiar for American people. They do not always have some sum of money, often spending it for trifles. Moreover, impossibility of giving some money in their turn does not strike them so hard as it strikes Asian people. The author mentions some housewives club organized by African American housewives, but they are just classic rotating credit associations (Kolker 34).

However, the author gives an opposite point of view on the example of her friends words “Why would I give my hard-earned money to other people?” (Kolker 37). This phrase reflects the essence of another standpoint. Some people can find it strange and ridiculous to give their money to a stranger without any reasonable cause, no matter that he is the one of those people who can also get it. It is the issue of trust and mentality.

Nevertheless, everyone can agree that these huis can really “help members unexpectedly tapped on the shoulder by some stroke of luck” (Kolker 26). That makes the idea of these money clubs popular among the majority of people. One more benefit is that money is available at the moment and without any percents. That is why people always think about the idea of organization of a hui or some money club.


The chapter impresses with revealing of some interesting money support system. The author describes its peculiarities and it becomes very interesting to discover more and more facts about it and the idea of becoming the member if a hui comes to head as it is a really good way to save some money and guarantee financial stability.

Works Cited

Kolker, C. The Immigrant Advantage. New York, NY: Free Press. 2013. Print.