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New Book by Erin Mayo-Adam

Priority: Informational

Queer Alliances: How Power Shapes Political Movement Formation investigates coalition formation among LGBTQ, immigrant, and labor rights activists in the United States, revealing how these new alliances impact the inner workings of each respective political movement.


Since the early 2000s, major alliances have formed at the national and state level across the LGBTQ, immigrants, labor rights movements. Queer Alliances examines the extent to which grassroots groups bridged historic divisions based on race, gender, class, and immigration status through the development of coalitions, looking specifically at coalition building around expanding LGBTQ rights in Washington State and immigrant and migrant rights in Arizona. Erin Mayo-Adam traces the evolution of political movement formation in each state, and argues that while the movements expanded, their coalition building often came at a cost, with movements ossifying around goals that matter to the most advantaged segments of their respective communities. Through a detailed, multi-method study that involves archival research and in-depth interviews with organization leaders and advocates, Queer Alliances centers local, coalition-based mobilization across and within multiple movements rather than national campaigns and court cases that often occur at the end of movement formation. The book examines the extent to which inter- and intra-movement coalitions formed to win rights or thwart rights losses represent and serve intersectionally marginalized communities—groups that are often absent within contemporary accounts of social movement formation.