ERIC Number: ED166295
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Sep-5
Reference Count: 0
Ethnicity and Political Organization. Discussion Paper D 76-4. Urban Planning Policy Analysis and Administration.
Howitt, Arnold M.; Moniz, Rita
There are circumstances under which ethnicity becomes the basis for political action in contemporary America. For example, the uncertain orientation of Cape Verdeans' political participation in New Bedford stems from the complex nature of their ethnic identity. Despite cultural dissimilarities from and limited contact with blacks in New Bedford, Cape Verdeans have not wholly escaped being identified as blacks by others. And, because of racial status distinctions in American Society, most Cape Verdeans prefer to maintain their ties to the larger Portuguese community in the city. However, the lack of continuing political organization in New Bedford, black political activism in the 1960s, and an eye toward potential political gain encouraged many Cape Verdeans to join the United Front thus adopting the rhetoric of black identity. When circumstances began to change relatively early in the life of the United Front, more traditional patterns of politics were followed. As a result, the United Front lost most of its political influence. When gains anticipated by the Cape Verdeans did not materialize, the Cape Verdean ethnic identification reappeared. The realities of ethnic stratification in New Bedford overcame the political alliance between Cape Verdeans and resident blacks. (EB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Dept. of City and Regional Planning.
Identifiers: Cape Verdeans; Massachussetts (New Bedford)
Note: Paper prepared for delivery at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (The Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois, September 2-5, 1976)