Weathering Change: Gays and Lesbians, Christian Conservatives, and Everyday Hostilities

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Overview

The Pacific Northwest is known for its diverse, unusual politics. There are thriving gay and lesbian communities and populations of staunchly conservative Christians. Both groups wield political power out of proportion to their numbers and yet both feel beleaguered. How do members of these groups—both community leaders and everyday citizens—perceive the political climates that surround them

This book tells a tale of two Northwestern cities: Seattle, well known nationally for its liberalism, and Spokane, its conservative cousin to the east. Weathering Change characterizes the ways these liberal and conservative environments translate into hostility and hospitality for the Christian conservatives, gay men, and lesbians who live within them. Linneman gives us a firsthand account of how people from both groups think about social change in relation to the media, the public, the government, their communities, and their opposition. Indeed, we gain much needed insight into why Christian conservatives view the progress of the gay and lesbian movement as such a threat.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Perceptions of political climates and the impact of these perceptions on social change are at the heart of Thomas Linneman's fascinating study of Christian conservatives and lesbians/gays. Using surveys, in-depth interviews, and content analyses of newspapers, he uncovers another side of social movements, namely, the role of social contexts in creating narratives about unique worlds that push people to mobilize against oppression. He persuasively describes how Christian conservatives and lesbians/gays in two very different cities organize, perceive, and make sense of their lives and explains how their intersecting views contribute to the development of social activism."

-Peter M. Nardi,author of Gay Men's Friendships

"Succeeds in breaking through stereotypes, dogmas, and especially media representations in a major community-based study that humanizes both sides—creating a richer understanding of the complex social realities that exist on each side of the so-called 'culture wars.' I know of no other work of its kind."

-Gilbert Herdt,Professor and Director, Program in Human Sexuality Studies and National Sexuality Resource Center, San Francisco State University

"An important contribution to the sociology of religion as well as to political sociology. With the currency of Linneman's topics and the skill of his coverage, the book should appeal to students and researchers alike."

-Sociology of Religion,

"A fascinating account."

-Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814751879
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Pages: 267
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Linneman is Associate Professor of Sociology at The College of William and Mary.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Experiencing Political Climates 1
2 Watching the Media 26
3 Reading the Public Mind 58
4 Engaging the Government 91
5 Being in the Communities 122
6 Reflecting on the Other 152
7 Changing the Climates 183
8 Concluding Thoughts 210
App.: Methods 225
Notes 247
Bibliography 251
Index 261
About the Author 267
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