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The Path to Gay RightsHow Activism and Coming Out Changed Public Opinion$
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Jeremiah J. Garretson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479822133

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479822133.001.0001

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A Transformed Society

A Transformed Society

LGBT Rights in the United States

(p.3) 1 A Transformed Society
The Path to Gay Rights

Jeremiah J. Garretson

NYU Press

The introductory chapter first outlines the basic puzzle that the book will focus on explaining: Why have mass attitudes involving lesbians and gays changed so radically since the early 1990s when public opinion research has shown that the public’s views on most issues are generally stable? The contours of attitude change on LGBT rights issues across time are then surveyed. The central theory of the book---Affective Liberalization---is then described. Lastly, the primary distinctive features of the book, including its emphasis on LGBTQ people as a primary mover of social change, is discussed. The chapter ends with a brief summary of the book.

Keywords:   mass opinion, social change, LGBTQ, politics, survey research, Gallup, affective liberalization, prejudice

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