Social Change: The Power of Place

Social Change: The Power of Place

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7961-8.ch005


The differences between states and within states are profound, and while that has long been true, it is much more consequential to LGBT individuals since the legalization of same-sex marriage. Social change relating to LGBT issues were originally addressed in a 1997 article written by Thomas Stoddard titled “Bleeding Heart: Reflections on Using the Law to Make Social Change.” This chapter uses his framework and examines legislative responses to the legalization of same-sex marriage focusing on place.
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The Framework Applied To Lgbt Issues

Thomas Stoddard’s 1997 article, “Bleeding Heart: Reflections on Using the Law to Make Social Change” (“Bleeding Heart”), offers a framework for social change—four factors necessary for a culture shift to occur. Hunter (1997) and Sobel (2015) added a fifth dimension of social change—public engagement, which explains the speed at which cultural transformation occurs. Using these elements of change, this chapter examines the links between place and inequality:

(1) A change that is very broad or profound; (2) Public awareness of that change; (3) General sense of the legitimacy (or validity) of the change; (4) Overall, continuous enforcement of the change (Stoddard, 1997); and (5) Public engagement. (Hunter, 1997; Sobel, 2015)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Polarization: Political parties or groups that are unified internally but ideologically distant from those in other parties or groups.

Citizenship: The status of a person recognized under the law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.

Judicial Review: The power of the judiciary to interpret and overturn actions taken by the legislative and executive branches of government.

Belonging: Acceptance as a member or part that adds value in life and assists in coping.

Change: The act or process of making something different.

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