Corporate Power and Ethnic Patronage: Machine Politics in Oakland

Chris Rhomberg

in No There There

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236189
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940888 | DOI:
Corporate Power and Ethnic Patronage: Machine Politics in Oakland

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This chapter presents a baseline of economic, political, and social development in Oakland from the beginning of the twentieth century to 1920. It also discusses the structural and conjunctural conditions that affected the formation of actors. The organization of urban machine politics helped foster the process of ethnic group formation in civil society. Patronage offered a solution to the problems of economic uncertainty and group inequality. By 1920, the machine as a whole was rapidly losing its capacity to hold together the actors in the urban polity. As the decade of the 1920s began, Oakland swung into a new phase of urban development, one that was to create the conditions for another challenge to the ethnic machine. This time, however, popular insurgency took the form of a white nativist movement, embodied in the mobilization led by the Ku Klux Klan.

Keywords: urban machine politics; Oakland; Ku Klux Klan; ethnic group; civil society; corporate power; economic uncertainty; group inequality

Chapter.  10445 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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