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Title: Activist citizens : social movement theory, citizenship and the development of LGBT activism in Serbia
Author: Rhodes-Kubiak, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Between 1990 and 2010, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LOBT) people in Serbia moved from a legal prohibition of homosexuality and widespread hostility, to a legislative and institutional framework of increasing recognition and protection. Social attitudes, too, 3re shifting towards greater acceptance. A vibrant social movement of LGBT activists has been vitally important in these shifts. This thesis explores and analyses a series of semi-structured interviews with these activists, campaigning materials, and primary and secondary literature to present a contextualised account of the history and practice of this under-researched movement. Beginning by developing a model of a theoretical toolbox, the thesis identifies the continuing relevance of a range of social movement theories and concepts, arguing that these must be utilised pragmatically to ensure a full understanding of the complex processes at work in a social movement. It particularly identifies the importance of contextually situated grievances, resources and opportunities to the development of LOBT activism in Serbia. A background of nationalism, warfare, ethnic fragmentation, authoritarianism, shifting international and domestic resources and opportunities have influenced the strategies and tactics, participation, leadership, motivations for taking part, and patterns of cooperation, all of which are explored. At the same time the thesis stresses the importance of actors making choices and acting creatively to influence, as well as work within, this context. To this end, the movement is theorised as representing a model of 'activist citizenship' based on rights, participation and belonging, utilising identity strategically whilst seeking a wider citizenship based on common humanity and linking struggles between oppressed groups. In doing so, this interdisciplinary research fills an important gap in existing sociological literature on the former Yugoslavia and makes a contribution to social movement theory and citizenship studies, as well as contributing to political sciences work on the former Yugoslavia and social movement studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available