Since its inception in the early 1950s, the LGBT rights movement has been divided over its approach to political, social, and cultural change. On the one hand, assimilations have typically embraced a rights-based perspective, working within the system to achieve incremental reforms.
On the other hand, liberationists have favored more radical, cultural change from outside mainstream political channels.
Your task is to evaluate the effectiveness of these two approaches in light of existing strategies. What are the strengths and limitations of LGBT activism? Can significant social change be accomplished by working inside the system?
Is it possible to link the LGBT rights movement to a broader coalition for social, political, and economic change, one that is sensitive to issues of gender, race, and class?
What are the obstacles in doing so? Based on the findings of your analysis, what, if any, changes need to be made to existing approaches? What are some possible ways forward? What might such changes look like in practice?
In developing your argument, things you should remember:
• The purpose of this assignment is twofold, namely to (1) demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of core ideas, arguments, and concepts from the course, with a particular emphasis on the assigned readings, documentaries, and lecture; and (2) critically evaluate existing strategies in a meaningful, thoughtful, and innovative way.
• Because this paper counts as a final examination, you are expected to incorporate material (i.e. ideas, theories, arguments, and concepts) discussed throughout the semester, beginning with the very first day of class and ending with the last.
• In order to effectively complete this assignment you must:
o Clearly state your argument
o Develop strong textual evidence to support your position
o Meaningfully engage with various authors, ideas, and insights. Thus your paper will be assessed not only on the clarity/persuasiveness of your argument, but on the originality of your ideas and the overall quality of your critique/evaluation
• The essay should be a minimum of 5 pages double-spaced.
• You may consult outside sources. However, your main focus should be on course materials.
• Any sources cited in the paper should be included in a works cited.
• You may use MLA or APA format, however, be consistent throughout.
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