Identifier

etd-04042007-171659

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This paper further develops a law-centered “political process” model of social movements by analyzing historical changes in American immigration law and the collective behavior of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans during the Chinese Exclusion Era. I present an interactive political process framework that considers not only how the broader political environment enables and constrains a movement, but also how challengers respond by actively reshaping the environment. I revisit the political process model’s core concept of “political opportunity structure” by examining legal rules and institutions, generally, and the indeterminacy of law, specifically. I apply this framework to the Chinese community’s initial use of litigation to fight the exclusion laws and their move towards direct action techniques to exploit the ambiguities of the exclusion laws. In this respect, Chinese immigrants mobilized and created legal resources.

Date

2007

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Pedriana, Nicholas

Included in

Sociology Commons

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