Same-sex marriage in Canada and the theory of political-cultural formation

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On July 20,2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to give samesex couples the legal right to marry. This thesis analyzes the mobilization that contributed to the historic event while assessing several social movement perspectives. It adopts the political-cultural-formation (PCF) perspective, which attempts to explain how civil society becomes consolidated vis-&-vis the state based on organizations of subordinate groups, communities, and classes. The lesbian and gay rights movement 11s often analyzed from the social movement perspective of resource mobilization theory, political opportunity structure, and new social movements, which each focus on important but partial dimensions. PCF was chosen because, by itself, it addresses cultural issues, state intervention, and organizational leadership that mediate betweein economic-structural processes anld political-cultural formation outcomes. Beyond describing and explaining the movement at hand, this thesis argues PCF provides a more comprehensive framework by answering questions that the other theories, by themselves, leave unanswered.

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Department of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
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Thesis (M.A.)