The Fight for Identity: An Evaluation of Four Social Movements spanning Sixty-Five Years

Abstract

The American Multiracial Movement is best known for enacting the “check one or more” boxes in the 2000 census, allowing individuals to claim multiple races for the first time. This is one of the clearest victories in the overarching “Identity Movement” that seemingly began around the half of the 20th Century and continues to today. This “Identity Movement” is not a movement in and of itself, but is more accurately a common thread within certain social movements. These movements include, but are not limited to, The Civil Rights Movement, The Gay Rights Movement, The American Multiracial Movement, and The Transgender Rights Movement. I have chosen to focus on specific events within each movement such as the legalization of interracial marriage in 1967, the identification of multiracial individuals in 2000, the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, and the continuing fight for transgender bathroom rights.

 

Research Question

How have The Civil Rights Movement, The Gay Rights Movement, The American Multiracial Movement, The Transgender Rights Movement interacted, affected, and changed the overall approach to identity politics over time?

 

Case Selection

  • Civil Rights Movement, with a focus on Loving vs Virginia
  • American Multiracial Movement, with a focus on the 2000 census
  • Gay Rights Movement, with a focus on Oberfell v. Hodges
  • Transgender Rights Movement, with a focus on GG v. Gloucester School Board

 

Methods

  • Literature Review. This will provide insight on current ideas and evaluations of these social movements as well as an avenue to analyze previously made comparisons between these movements.
  • Archives. This will allow analysis of tactics and methods as close to first hand as possible and give faces to each of these movements.
  • Interviews of individuals in each movement (unsure of logistics)

 

Work Plan

  1. Final Project Proposal (3/23)
  2. Create a timeline of significant related events in each movement (3/30)
  3. Analyze each movement individually, finding main methods/tactics used (4/6)
  4. Compare movements, finding potential connections/differences/influences (4/13)
  5. First Draft (4/20)
  6. Expand research and arrange potential interviews (4/27)
  7. Second Draft (5/4)
  8. TBD, based on feedback (5/11)
  9. Presentation (5/18)
  10. TBD, based on feedback (5/25)
  11. Final Paper Due (5/28)
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