Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form


Snow, Michael Sean (2005) DREAMS REALIZED AND DREAMS DEFERRED: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND PUBLIC POLICY IN PITTSBURGH, 1960-1980. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (2MB) | Preview


This dissertation analyzes the impact of civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights activists on public policy in Pittsburgh during the 1960s and 1970s. It challenges several of the interpretations which other scholars have made about the history and impact of the New Left and social movements in the United States since 1960. This study applies social network analysis to politics to explain the successes and failures these social movements had in the city in winning the reforms that they sought for their communities. As the activists grew in their political sophistication, so their political networks matured. Pittsburgh activists did not ignore the means of power that social movement scholars traditionally study, power at the polls and in the streets. But in addition to such tools, activists built a base of trust, respect, and mutual support between themselves and local politicians. By gathering and disseminating information about the problems afflicting their communities, African-Americans in the 1960s and feminists and gays in the 1970s won converts to their cause among the city's political elite. Leaders within the three movements leveraged their growing rapport with political leaders to win appointments to government commissions for community members and appropriations for programs aiding their communities. These positions brought activists further contacts and alliances with leaders at other levels of government. Using their political networks, these Pittsburgh activists in the 1970s protected and sometimes advanced their cause even in the face of federal budget cuts and growing organized opposition to school desegregation, abortion, and gay rights.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Snow, Michael
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMuller, Edward Kekmuller@pitt.eduEKMULLER
Committee MemberGlasco, Laurencelag1@pitt.eduLAG1
Committee MemberColeman, Mortonmc123@pitt.eduMC123
Committee MemberOestreicher, Richarddick@pitt.eduDICK
Date: 1 February 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 22 November 2004
Approval Date: 1 February 2005
Submission Date: 7 December 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: equal rights amendment; homosexuality; urban renewal; desegregation; human rights
Other ID:, etd-12072004-020323
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item