Chapter

History as Class Politics on the Docks

William J. Mello

in New York Longshoremen

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034898
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038681 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034898.003.0002
History as Class Politics on the Docks

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This chapter examines the role of class in the process of political change and the limits to working-class action. Neither the pluralist nor the elite domination models of power entirely explain political change; they are partial accounts at best. In a historical perspective, the distinct ways in which power and politics shaped each other in the East Coast unions illustrates the deeper conflict of how power relations reshaped working-class political participation, introducing historical evidence and the debate of class and power in American political development. The struggles of New York's dockworkers appear as the harbinger for a process whereby labor's political power in the United States became radically limited.

Keywords: class politics; dockworkers; working class; political change; labor union; political participation

Chapter.  8072 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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