American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



During the 1970s and 1980s, Los Angeles was one urban location where the struggle for lesbian rights and lesbian community was publicly and energetically pursued by a movement of diverse individuals and groups. This generation of politicized lesbians was formed by the confluence of various socio-historical currents and informed by experiences in other social movements. For almost ten years, lesbian activists across the United States engaged in unprecedented institution-building and political activism. The backbone of this underfunded movement was made up of a host of dedicated volunteers. This community history used the methods of oral histories and an analysis of the content of community-produced publications to identify women, places, events and dynamics that made up this specific movement in Los Angeles. It used the framework of social movement theory and sociological perspectives to analyze the macro dynamics of a movement for civil rights and the micro dynamics of a diverse community. Micro dynamics that were examined included institution-building, political activism, internecine conflict, the activism of lesbians of color and the effects of personal relationships on a politicized community. Since the researcher is "native" to the community in question, the study also examines issues related to methodology and insider (native) vs. outsider (cross­ cultural) research.



Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

M. Jane Young

Second Committee Member

Emma Pérez

Third Committee Member

Jane Caputi

Fourth Committee Member

Tey Diana Rebolledo


No page 76 (gap in numbering)