The Meaning of Gay traces the conflicts among San Francisco's gay men and with the dominant society, describing the broad range of meanings they came to ascribe onto 'gayness' between 1962 and 1972. Combining historical method, symbolic interaction, and the concerns of John Dewey's pragmatism, the book explains why gay men created the meanings they did and challenges the prevailing view that the 1960s was merely the transformation of an assimilationist gay politic into a radical one.
J. Todd Ormsbee is assistant professor of American Studies at San Jose State University.
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