Comparative Analysis Essay: This 7-10 page double-spaced essay is due on the last day of class (although you may turn it in early). You will need academic sources, at least 5 solid ones, like articles and book chapters. I do not care what citation format you use as long as you use one that is intelligible and use it correctly. Since there are many disciplines represented in this class, use the one that is standard in yours if you cannot decide.
Please outline the following: Compare and contrast your chosen nation-state to the United States (Ch. 3) using the frameworks provided by the authors in The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics. You may choose a country not outlined in the book, and look up the information yourself (although you may still want to look at sample chapters and see what kind of information is contained in them and how it is organized). You can use the ILGA site online (International Lesbian and Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association): http://ilga.org/How are the terms “gay” and “lesbian” and any other relevant identitarian labels defined in the country?
How does this shape the claims made on political representation and rights? Highlight specific issues and concepts that you will compare in your essay. For example, you may draw out political culture as a defining feature of lesbian and gay politics from your chapter. As Epstein notes, religion seems to be an important factor that inhibits the “movement” from attaining its goal of rights; however, he does not define this religion.
Does your country have a defined religion? (i.e. a national religion, as in Great Britain, the Anglican Church). Or, is your country secularist (like France, for example). Is the dominant religion separate from the political culture? How has the movement defined itself over time?
In the U.S. it has oscillated back and forth between assimilationist and radical postures in a dialectical fashion (as Craig Rimmerman portrays it). How has your country’s movement differed from this very American model that inheres progress consistent with political liberalism (the assignment of rights for the opportunity to participate in the democratic process)? How does your country conceptualize citizenship? Is it membership in a group or individualistic? Epstein notes that the mainstream movement in the U.S. has tended to represent itself through “substantial consumerism” such as symbols, etc. What has the role of the medical and psychiatric community been in terms of defining gay and lesbian “behaviors?”
This is important for early movements in the U.S. toward acceptance. Is there a transgender movement? How is it viewed? An advocacy group for bisexuality? Is there a public discourse about queerness? Is there a rift between gay men and lesbians over the ideology of the movement? Do they work together or separately? Here you may want to outline setbacks in your country that make it differ from the U.S. (perhaps direct involvement in a major war).
Or, you may list features that promote the movement (such as a favorable political system or party system). It has often been said that the U.S. was born during the Enlightenment period. How old is your country and how does its history shape its politics in ways that limit or expand the possibilities for gay and lesbian organizing. Are there parties that openly endorse gay and lesbian issues?
If so, what are they in comparison to the U.S. movement outlined by Epstein? The trick of the assignment is to compare the two countries without assigning one of them the status of “model” against which the other is compared. Get Thesis Writing help.
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