Introduction: Emancipatory Science and Homosexual Rights

in Departing from Deviance

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780226530437
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226304458 | DOI:
Introduction: Emancipatory Science and Homosexual Rights

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The social and political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s reflected an intensification of the long struggle by oppressed people to resist domination by claiming the right to speak in their own voice. Central to emancipatory social science is the idea that human knowledge is always situated within a framework of social relations. Thus, knowledge is based on the position that knowers or observers hold in society. This implies that there are multiple realities. Observers who occupy privileged positions in the social hierarchy have a perspective different from those who are marginalized. The struggle to excise homosexuality from the psychiatric lexicon did not result in a complete victory since the APA introduced the new antigay category of “sexual orientation disturbance” to refer to homosexuals who were psychologically troubled by their sexual orientation. This chapter reveals a hidden history of research production and collaboration on the part of American gay and lesbian activists who sought the right to speak for themselves and gain homosexual rights through scientific enterprise.

Keywords: emancipatory; social science; human knowledge; homosexuality; sexual orientation

Chapter.  2293 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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