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New York LongshoremenClass and Power on the Docks$
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William J. Mello

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034898

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034898.001.0001

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History as Class Politics on the Docks

History as Class Politics on the Docks

(p.6) 1 History as Class Politics on the Docks
New York Longshoremen

William J. Mello

University Press of Florida

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

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