Social movement theories are often built on Western and US-centric understandings of civic life and the values that underpin it. Studying participation in the LGBT movement in Prague, Czech Republic provides one context for complicating such underlying assumptions. Within theory on mobilization, collective identity is said to act as a conduit for developing personal investment through individuals’ identities. Interviews with LGBT people in Prague, however, show that there is little sense of or desire for collective identity among these potential participants. Czech national history contextualizes respondents’ distinct descriptions of the role of civic life and activism, value of private life, and contemporary situation for LGBT people in Prague. Drawing from these descriptions, and an analysis of the influence of values on movement participation in the Czech Republic and other CEE countries, I argue that nation and history complicate the application of collective identity for mobilization in Prague’s LGBT movement.

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©2016 Cleo Spencer

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