The 1968 Students Movement led out a broad range of social and political activism, starting from the Feminist Movement, the Ecological Movement, Peace Movement and also the Gay Rights Movement. The research aim is to examine the contribution of the Student Movement to the significant change in the legal and social acceptance of homosexuals in West-Germany since 1968.
The "Sexual Revolution" of the 1960 was attributed in the decades followed to the new left of 1968. In the German case there are a few factors that undermine that, mainly the progressive sexual culture of the Weimar Republic. This culture was in contrast to the conservative sexual culture of the 1950's. Furthermore, the de-criminalization of homosexuality (1969) was an outcome of processes that started years before the outbreak of the Student Movement. The singularity of the German case (comparing to France or the UK) is the roll of the Nazism in setting a uniform model of sexuality that lasted till the 1960's.
The goal of the research is to reveal to what extent the changes in the legal and social status of homosexuals within the West-German society between 1968 and 1985 originated as a result of the 1968 movement and in which aspects the changes are a result of liberalization processes that started earlier.
The research is based on 'Queer reading' of media over the chosen period. The Queer Theory deconstructive method is used to analyze specific historical contexts. The research is based on resources concerning the de-criminalizing of homosexuality in West-Germany (i.e. Parliamentary and juristic sources), newspapers covering the various politically spectrum, printed materials published by gay organizations, books and movies dealing with homosexuality from the period. Another methodological tool used is Oral History. This method deals with subjective aspects of history and allows us analyze how individuals or groups processed different experiences and to get insights from their unique point of view.
Thinking the center through the margins- The aim of the Queer theory is to analyze and criticize the broader culture and society. Using the 'Performativity' perception of gender (developed by Judith Butler) we can undermine the sexual concepts, all shaped by the society and culture in which they emerged and were used. They are not eternal and changed their meaning over time. The shifting attitude towards homosexuals (as a social minority, the "other") reflects a wider changes in the German society.
The linkage between sexual and political revolution- This linkage has to do with the sixties activists. It is unclear how individuals at that period and in the years followed tried to express this linkage. Were the sixties a real change or a short-lived wave?