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Racialization and the State: The Housing Act of 1934 and the Creation of the Federal Housing Administration

Kevin Fox Gotham
Sociological Perspectives
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 291-317
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/1389798
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1389798
Page Count: 27
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Racialization and the State: The Housing Act of 1934 and the Creation of the Federal Housing Administration
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Abstract

Research examining the impact of corporate interests, state structures, and class contradictions on the state policy formation process has been dominated by three major theoretical perspectives: business dominance theory, state-centered theory, and Marxian structuralism. I argue that these existing perspectives pay insufficient attention to race and racial discrimination as a central component in the formulation and implementation of state policy. This article uses the concept of racialization to reframe existing theories of the state to explain the origin of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) through the Housing Act of 1934. As an integral component of New Deal legislation, the FHA was created for the purpose of salvaging the home building and finance industries that had collapsed during the Great Depression. I draw on government housing reports and analyses, real estate industry documents, and congressional testimony to examine the racial dynamic of the FHA's housing policies and subsidies. The analysis demonstrates the value of employing a racialization frame-work to account for the racial motivations surrounding the origin of state policies, the racial basis of corporate interests, and the impact of race and racial discrimination on the creation and development of state structures. /// [Spanish] La investigación que examina el impacto de los intereses corporativos, las estructuras del estado, y las contradicciones de clase en el proceso de formación en la política del estado ha sido dominada por tres perspectivas teóricas: la teoría de dominio de los negocios, la teoría del estado centrado, y el estructuralismo Marxista. Argumento que estas perspectivas existentes ponen una atención insuficiente a la raza y a la discriminación racial como un componente central en la formulación e implementación de la política del estado. Este trabajo utiliza el concepto de racialización para enmarcar teorías existentes del estado que explican el origen de la Federal Housing Administration (FHA) a través del Acta de la Vivienda de 1934. Como un componente integral de la legislación New Deal, la FHA fue creada con el propósito de salvar las viviendas y las industrias financieras que se vinieron abajo durante la Gran Depresión. Basándome en el análisis de reportes del gobierno sobre la vivienda, documentos de la industria de bienes raíces, y testimonios del congreso para examinar las dinámicas raciales de las políticas de vivienda y subsidios del FHA. El análisis demuestra el valor del empleo de un marco de racialización para justificar las motivaciones raciales en torno al origen de las políticas del estado, las bases raciales de los intereses corporativos, y el impacto de raza y discriminación racial en la creación y desarrollo de estructuras del estado. /// [Chinese] (Unicode for Chinese abstract). /// [Japanese] (Unicode for Japanese abstract).

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