Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



Political activism and political culture provide great insight into how movements not only form but attempt to enact change within society. However, political culture will vary by nation due to the divergent historical foundations and the use of tactics that resonate with citizens as the most effective way to promote change in a government. Therefore, it is critical to cross-nationally examine the effect that political culture can have on current social movements. In this thesis, I examine the impact of political culture on recent social movement activity in France and the state of Maine, with a focus on debates over the legalization of same-sex marriage. Through firsthand experience and case study analysis, this thesis demonstrates the different strategies movements utilize to promote the same cause, adopting different tactics and framing strategies. I argue that this reflects differing cultural influences in each society. In fact, I will argue that divergent collective memories of respective revolutions and the forms of government that resulted from the framers of each nation contribute to the organization and execution of same-sex marriage social movements today.