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Intersectional Coalitions: The Paradoxes of Rights‐Based Movement Building in LGBTQ and Immigrant Communities

Intersectional Coalitions: The Paradoxes of Rights‐Based Movement Building in LGBTQ and Immigrant... Over the past decade, inter‐ and intra‐movement coalitions composed of organizations within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) and immigrant rights movements have formed at the local level. These coalitions speak to a massive organizing effort that has achieved some rights campaign successes. However, coalition unity that culminated in “wins” like marriage equality came at a cost. While both movements expanded and unified, they simultaneously ossified around goals that matter to the most privileged segments of their respective communities. The result is a paradox: coalitions do sometimes form within and across movements, promote enduring unity across seemingly divergent movements, and facilitate rights campaign “wins.” However, coalitions simultaneously reinforce hierarchical exclusions through the continued marginalization of issues that uproot conventional power dynamics, like police violence, economic inequality, and gender justice. This essay argues that the construction of a common “civil rights past” identity within coalitions can help to explain this paradox. The development of this collective identity expands movements, occasionally thwarting the power dynamics responsible for the centering of the interests of the most privileged constituencies within social movements. However, the episodic nature of rights‐based campaigns simultaneously contains and undermines the formation of this collective identity, reinforcing movement divisions based on race, gender, and class. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Law & Society Review Wiley

Intersectional Coalitions: The Paradoxes of Rights‐Based Movement Building in LGBTQ and Immigrant Communities

Law & Society Review , Volume 51 (1) – Mar 1, 2017

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References (15)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2017 Law and Society Association
ISSN
0023-9216
eISSN
1540-5893
DOI
10.1111/lasr.12248
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the past decade, inter‐ and intra‐movement coalitions composed of organizations within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) and immigrant rights movements have formed at the local level. These coalitions speak to a massive organizing effort that has achieved some rights campaign successes. However, coalition unity that culminated in “wins” like marriage equality came at a cost. While both movements expanded and unified, they simultaneously ossified around goals that matter to the most privileged segments of their respective communities. The result is a paradox: coalitions do sometimes form within and across movements, promote enduring unity across seemingly divergent movements, and facilitate rights campaign “wins.” However, coalitions simultaneously reinforce hierarchical exclusions through the continued marginalization of issues that uproot conventional power dynamics, like police violence, economic inequality, and gender justice. This essay argues that the construction of a common “civil rights past” identity within coalitions can help to explain this paradox. The development of this collective identity expands movements, occasionally thwarting the power dynamics responsible for the centering of the interests of the most privileged constituencies within social movements. However, the episodic nature of rights‐based campaigns simultaneously contains and undermines the formation of this collective identity, reinforcing movement divisions based on race, gender, and class.

Journal

Law & Society ReviewWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2017

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