Resources, social networks, and collective action frames of college students who join the gay and lesbian rights movement.

Published: January 1, 2012

This article explores the reasons why some college students join the gay and lesbian rights movements. After addressing the frequency of students joining this social movement, the article then considers the contexts and motivations behind such actions. To explore the catalysts to gay and lesbian rights activism, this study utilizes variables from resource, mobilizing, and framing theories of political participation. Using data from 820 heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual students, we found that economic and educational resources failed to explain participation in gay and lesbian politics. Instead, predictors of gay and lesbian activism were more closely aligned to four key variables: the political orientations of trusted peers, knowing full-fledged activists, an ability to recognize heterosexism, and participants’ maintenance of activist identities.

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