That mess on campus : the New Left, the New Right, and the campus politics of sexuality in Berkeley and Austin
MetadataShow full item record
The University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin were two places where a language of sexual politics evolved within larger student activism, and where campus politics spilled over into larger local, state, and national formal politics from the 1960s to the 1970s. This dissertation reconstructs the dynamics and undercurrents of public contests between student activists and university administrations, state legislatures, and political candidates to show how discussions about sex became central to the articulation of politics on both the left and right in Berkeley and Austin. These two university campuses become key to understanding the new left and the New Right as interrelated and mutually constitutive. This dissertation forges a new way of thinking about the concurrent rise of the new left and the New Right by focusing on how the issue of sexual behavior became a topic both groups used to structure their own political beliefs and fight for specific legislation, policy shifts, or other tangible goals. Furthermore, this project brings these two movements into focus together to offer a new perspective on the polarization of electoral politics in this period—a polarization that would continue to intensify throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and even into the present. Finally, it also offers new understandings of the sexual revolution in the 1960s and the meanings attached to sex.