This article examines internal processes that helped Alinskyism become a hegemonic style of organizing among Chicanos in Texas over New-Left and Marxist styles. I argue that Alinskyite Chicanos outmaneuvered rival activists through what I call tactical dexterity. Tactical dexterity illuminates how actors transpose cultural schemas with organizational knowledge to craft tactics that build political power, negotiate status, and expunge rivals to control resources. The Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) and Raza Unida Party illustrate the political maneuverings of activists to organize Chicanos in Texas. Sewell’s framework of structuration illuminates how activists use creative flexibility in adopting tactics to prevail over rivals. This article illustrates the creativity of Alinskyite organizers in leveraging cultural schemas and institutional knowledge to force recognition of Chicanas and to remove Marxists from conventions. These moments provide an opportunity to reveal processes through which one style of organizing prevailed over others.

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