POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- Sociologist and Pennsylvania State University professor Lauren J. Joseph will discuss “From the Gayborhoods of New York to the Small Towns in Utah: LGBT Pride Organizations and the Process of Institutionalization” on Wednesday, February 6, at 5:30pm in Taylor Hall room 203. Free and open to the public, this event is sponsored by the sociology department.
“While social movement theorists generally treat institutionalization as the final stage before organizational death, I argue that institutionalization can signal organizational growth and survival,” said Joseph, a 2000 Vassar graduate.
Drawing on a year of intensive ethnographic fieldwork and archival research on four LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) organizations in three cities across the United States -- New York City; Boise, Idaho; and St. George, Utah -- Joseph will use these case studies to examine how and why social movement organizations institutionalize, the relationships between organizations and their communities, and how members make decisions within these organizations. Joseph focused her research on organizations that lead annual gay pride celebrations, constituting part of the cultural arm of the LGBT movement in the United States.
“The first gay Pride march in 1970 commemorated the 1969 Stonewall Riots, and today Pride organizations operate year-round in cities and towns across the United States,” continued Joseph. “I use an ethnographic approach that focuses on the meanings, symbols, and decision-making involved in the production of pride event organizing throughout the year.”
Lauren J. Joseph is an assistant professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill Campus, whose research and teaching expertise is in the areas of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, urban sociology, social movements, and ethnographic methodology. She is a co-editor of the volume New Perspectives in Political Ethnography, and is at work on a book about LGBT pride organizations as well as an article on Mormon parents of LGBT children. Joseph earned her PhD from Stony Brook University and her MA from the University of California at Irvine after completing her Bachelor’s degree at Vassar.
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.