Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Political Science

First Advisor

Todd C. Shaw


Several versions of racial and ethnic triangulation among different groups in the United States are examined. Racial triangulation is a form of racial or ethnic stratification advanced by Kim (1999) that occurs when a least favored group is juxtaposed to a most favored group, with a third group being "triangulated" between the two. I argue this triangulation can include specific ethnic groups as well. Stratification occurs when the most favored group seeks to retain an economic advantage over the others; the triangulated relationship is established (and enforced) when public policies pit the third group against the least favored group while retaining economic dominance for the favored group. I also examine the role of policy entrepreneurs ("PEs") in the creation of said triangulated relationships. PEs serve as active proponents of racial and ethnic policies which favor the most advantaged group; as members of this group, they have a vested interest in maintaining its economic advantage. Using a Model of Racial/Ethnic Policy I created, I examine (a) initial racial/ethnic triangulation at Time A, (b) the actions of policy entrepreneurs in facilitating new (or maintaining existing) triangulated relationships via policy promulgation in the State of California, (c) descriptive outcomes of PE activity, (d) regimes produced as a consequence of policy promulgation and the new phenomenon, and (e) the triangulated relationship created at Time B in the wake of three phenomenon: (1) the emancipation of Native Americans in 1867 via passage of the Federal Anti-Peonage Act, (2) passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and (3) creation of the 1942 Bracero program.


© 2010, Athena M. King