Why has there never been a female president? Do men and women have different styles of governing? Are female leaders judged differently than male leaders? Does gender representation affect the types of laws governments pass? Why are women more likely to identify as Democrats and men more likely to identify as Republicans? How has the #MeToo social movement impacted American politics? Why do white women often vote differently than women of color? Who is more likely to engage in political activism, men or women? Have the opinions of men and women grown more polarized over time? Despite gains in recent years, women remain dramatically underrepresented in virtually all realms of the American political system. This course approaches this discrepancy from a sociological perspective, providing students with an intersectional understanding of women's current and historical involvement in civic and political spheres. Students will become familiar with the empirical patterns and trends, political and cultural debates, and policy issues concerning the role of gender in our political system - as well as the major theories and research methods used in the sociological study of gender and politics. We will examine the gender gap in voting patterns and mass political participation, the underrepresentation of women in government, and strategies for increasing women's representation. Throughout the course we will consider why the number of female politicians might matter and what difference women representatives make to the policy process. We will also explore gender inequality in politics through an intersectional lens of class, race, education, and sexuality.
Grad student instructor limit