Date of Award

Winter 1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


War and Society

First Advisor

Dr. Kyle Longley

Second Advisor

Prof. Kyndra Rotunda

Third Advisor

Dr. Mateo Jarquín


What do citizens owe the government? And conversely, what does the government owe its people, particularly those who volunteer for military or public service? The works in this portfolio attempt to answer these questions and delve into the social contract between the American government and its citizens, often through the lens of sexual orientation. Using original correspondence from the Center for War Letters at Chapman University as well as existing works concerning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Lavender Scare, the collected essays aim to tell the story of everyday Americans who answered the call to public service only to find indifferent or even hostile treatment by government they sought to serve. Through poor planning or discrimination, the U.S. government routinely violated its oath to its people at key points throughout the nation’s history, but this portfolio demonstrates how dedicated citizens strove to update and improve the social contract in order to produce the more perfect union promised in the nation’s constitution.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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