International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

The Growth of the State and Ethnic Mobilization: The American Experience

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The concept of 'the state,' the most potent dimension of modern political life, is scarcely mentioned in most analyses of politics and society in the U.S. In other countries, the state has been harder to ignore because of a tradition of monarchy or because of an historically powerful central bureaucracy or because of weak or retarded party and legislative organizations. This article explores a possibility neglected in most analyses of ethnic mobilization. It emphasizes that state apparatus is not merely something that must 'cope with' the mobilization of ethnic groups, but is at times itself a critical factor in generating such ethnic mobilization. It is meant to challenge the conventional wisdom that politics is a dependent variable in ethnic phenomena, that politics typically only reflects the deeper realities of either modes of production or psychological needs. The political history of certain ethnic groups in the U.S. reveals both the existence of the state in the country's society and its important impact on social relationships in the U.S.

Publication Title

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Publication Date

4-1-1981

Volume

4

Issue

2

First Page

123

Last Page

136

ISSN

0141-9870

DOI

10.1080/01419870.1981.9993329

Keywords

ethnic groups, ethnology, ethnicity, organizational sociology, interorganizational relations, social interaction

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