Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Advisor(s)

Erin J. Rand

Keywords

Affect Theory, LGSM, Queer Failure, Queer Theory, UK Miners' Strike

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The United Kingdom Miners’ Strike began on 6 March 1984 as a response to the closure of five pits without adequate review, as well as Margaret Thatcher’s unwillingness to reach any compromise. The almost year long strike ended without victory and is known as one of the bitterest industrial disputes in UK history. Thatcher’s motives for closing the pits were to grow the economy by importing coal, oil, and gas, as well as cut back on inefficient pits within the United Kingdom. At the height of the strike, 142,000 miners were active in the movement and faced harassment by police, officials, and the general public as a result. To support the miners, many activist groups formed to aid in strike efforts, one of these groups being Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a London-based activist group who formed a relationship with the mining community in Wales’ Dulais Valley.

This thesis analyzes of the relationship between LGSM and the Dulais Valley Miners as well as the 2014 BBC film Pride’s take on the coalition as an affectively driven bond, positing that their coalition provides a space to imagine future productive activism and radical social movement politics. This project looks into the coalition between LGSM and the Dulais Valley mining community to offer an example of productive activism between unlikely allies, as well as providing a case study from which to imagine political activism and constructive coalition building in the future. Through analyzing the discourse between the two groups, this thesis enters into a discussion about the circumstances under which coalitions such as LGSM’s has the potential to form. This thesis specifically draws upon affect theory, social movement rhetoric, and theories of queer coalitions to discuss the impacts of these affective moments upon both the miners’ and LGBTQ rights in the United Kingdom.

Access

Open Access

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