Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Differences: A Multi-method Analysis of LGBT Marches on Washington

Amin Ghaziani, Delia Baldassarri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Social scientists describe culture as either coherent or incoherent and political dissent as either unifying or divisive. This article moves beyond such dichotomies. Content, historical, and network analyses of public debates on how to organize four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Washington marches provide evidence for an integrative position. Rather than just describe consistencies or contradictions, we contend that the key analytic challenge is to explain the organization of differences. We propose one way of doing this using the mechanism of a cultural anchor. Within and across marches, a small collection of ideas remains fixed in the national conversation, yet in a way that allows activists to address their internal diversity and respond to unfolding historical events. These results suggest that activists do not simply organize around their similarities but, through cultural anchors, they use their commonalities to build a thinly coherent foundation that can also support their differences. Situated at the nexus of culture, social movements, sexualities, and networks, this article demonstrates how the anchoring mechanism works in the context of LGBT political organizing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)179-206
    Number of pages28
    JournalAmerican Sociological Review
    Volume76
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 2011

    Fingerprint

    organization
    social scientist
    Social Movements
    sexuality
    conversation
    event
    evidence

    Keywords

    • coherence
    • culture
    • networks
    • sexualities
    • social movements

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Differences : A Multi-method Analysis of LGBT Marches on Washington. / Ghaziani, Amin; Baldassarri, Delia.

    In: American Sociological Review, Vol. 76, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 179-206.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{776583ec3f8e4ddeb22eb4d6bcde6c28,
    title = "Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Differences: A Multi-method Analysis of LGBT Marches on Washington",
    abstract = "Social scientists describe culture as either coherent or incoherent and political dissent as either unifying or divisive. This article moves beyond such dichotomies. Content, historical, and network analyses of public debates on how to organize four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Washington marches provide evidence for an integrative position. Rather than just describe consistencies or contradictions, we contend that the key analytic challenge is to explain the organization of differences. We propose one way of doing this using the mechanism of a cultural anchor. Within and across marches, a small collection of ideas remains fixed in the national conversation, yet in a way that allows activists to address their internal diversity and respond to unfolding historical events. These results suggest that activists do not simply organize around their similarities but, through cultural anchors, they use their commonalities to build a thinly coherent foundation that can also support their differences. Situated at the nexus of culture, social movements, sexualities, and networks, this article demonstrates how the anchoring mechanism works in the context of LGBT political organizing.",
    keywords = "coherence, culture, networks, sexualities, social movements",
    author = "Amin Ghaziani and Delia Baldassarri",
    year = "2011",
    month = "4",
    doi = "10.1177/0003122411401252",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "76",
    pages = "179--206",
    journal = "American Sociological Review",
    issn = "0003-1224",
    publisher = "American Sociological Association",
    number = "2",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Differences

    T2 - A Multi-method Analysis of LGBT Marches on Washington

    AU - Ghaziani, Amin

    AU - Baldassarri, Delia

    PY - 2011/4

    Y1 - 2011/4

    N2 - Social scientists describe culture as either coherent or incoherent and political dissent as either unifying or divisive. This article moves beyond such dichotomies. Content, historical, and network analyses of public debates on how to organize four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Washington marches provide evidence for an integrative position. Rather than just describe consistencies or contradictions, we contend that the key analytic challenge is to explain the organization of differences. We propose one way of doing this using the mechanism of a cultural anchor. Within and across marches, a small collection of ideas remains fixed in the national conversation, yet in a way that allows activists to address their internal diversity and respond to unfolding historical events. These results suggest that activists do not simply organize around their similarities but, through cultural anchors, they use their commonalities to build a thinly coherent foundation that can also support their differences. Situated at the nexus of culture, social movements, sexualities, and networks, this article demonstrates how the anchoring mechanism works in the context of LGBT political organizing.

    AB - Social scientists describe culture as either coherent or incoherent and political dissent as either unifying or divisive. This article moves beyond such dichotomies. Content, historical, and network analyses of public debates on how to organize four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Washington marches provide evidence for an integrative position. Rather than just describe consistencies or contradictions, we contend that the key analytic challenge is to explain the organization of differences. We propose one way of doing this using the mechanism of a cultural anchor. Within and across marches, a small collection of ideas remains fixed in the national conversation, yet in a way that allows activists to address their internal diversity and respond to unfolding historical events. These results suggest that activists do not simply organize around their similarities but, through cultural anchors, they use their commonalities to build a thinly coherent foundation that can also support their differences. Situated at the nexus of culture, social movements, sexualities, and networks, this article demonstrates how the anchoring mechanism works in the context of LGBT political organizing.

    KW - coherence

    KW - culture

    KW - networks

    KW - sexualities

    KW - social movements

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79954530552&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79954530552&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1177/0003122411401252

    DO - 10.1177/0003122411401252

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:79954530552

    VL - 76

    SP - 179

    EP - 206

    JO - American Sociological Review

    JF - American Sociological Review

    SN - 0003-1224

    IS - 2

    ER -