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    A Post Gay Ireland? Exploring the legacy of the "Yes Equality" campaign for LGBT+ Social Movement Leaders and Constituent Members.

    Connor, Nigel (2017) A Post Gay Ireland? Exploring the legacy of the "Yes Equality" campaign for LGBT+ Social Movement Leaders and Constituent Members. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The success of the 2015 same-sex marriage campaign made Ireland the first country to extend marriage to same sex couples by popular vote. The discourse around the ‘Yes Equality’ (YE) campaign has been predominately positive, indicating an emerging Ireland of progressive social attitudes (Elkink et al 2016; McGarry 2016). This project explores the legacy of the YE campaign for the everyday lives of LGBT+ people, with a focus on those outside large urban centres, through an examination of activists’ experiences of the YE campaign, their patterns of collective action and their assessments of what it is to be LGBT+ in contemporary Irish society. To understand the depth and scope of social change as experienced by LGBT+ constituents, this research draws on assessments that posit the advent of a ‘post gay era’, understood as period of policy engineered decrease in homophobia and transphobia that functions to weaken ties to established LGBT+ spaces and institutions (Ghaziani 2014, Seidman 2002). Concepts from social movement analysis and examinations of LGBT+ organisations are also used to understand dynamics of inclusion, exclusion, collective identity and community in a sample of urban and rural LGBT+ groups. To gather data to assess how ‘post-gay’ Ireland has become, focus groups where held in both rural and urban environments with grassroots activists. In tandem, elite interviews were conducted with leaders of LGBT+ movement and community groups and participant observation was conducted of a new LGBT+ group formed in a town in the Midlands. Drawing on this data this thesis explores local and national LGBT+ debates on the YE campaign and in its aftermath experiences of collective action and community building in urban and rural contexts. Findings suggest, that the YE campaign worked as a catalyst that continues to sustain elements of rural based mobilization, however, age, gender and sexual identity shape the nature and capacity of collective organisation on the local level. Overall, a campaign that privileged a narrow conceptualization of LGBT+ life had mixed outcomes for this heterogeneous community and in the context of waning resources and a gap between national, local, urban and rural experiences, claims of a ‘post gay’ era seem premature.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Post Gay Ireland; Exploring; legacy; Yes Equality; campaign; LGBT+; Social Movement Leaders; Constituent Members;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 9902
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2018 14:02
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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