Indian Americans own about half of all the motels in the United States. Even more remarkable, most of these motel owners come from the same region in India andalthough they are not all relatedseventy percent of them share the surname of Patel. Most of these motel owners arrived in the United States with few resources and, broadly speaking, they are self-employed, self-sufficient immigrants who have become successfulthey live the American dream.
However, framing this group as embodying the American dream has profound implications. It perpetuates the idea of American exceptionalismthat this nation creates opportunities for newcomers unattainable elsewhereand also downplays the inequalities of race, gender, culture, and globalization immigrants continue to face. Despite their dominance in the motel industry, Indian American moteliers are concentrated in lower- and mid-budget markets. "Life Behind the Lobby" explains Indian Americans' simultaneous accomplishments and marginalization and takes a close look at their own role in sustaining that duality."
Life Behind the Lobby
Stanford University Press
Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream
Education & Reference