It Takes a Candidate Why Women Don't Run for Office

ISBN-10: 052167414X

ISBN-13: 9780521674140

Edition: 2005

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This important work constitutes a systematic, nationwide empirical account of the effects of gender on political ambition. Based on data from the Citizen Political Ambition Study, a national survey of 3,800 "potential candidates" conducted by the authors, it relates these findings: --Women, even at the highest levels of professional accomplishment, are significantly less likely than men to demonstrate ambition to run for elective office. --Women are less likely than men to be recruited to run for office. --Women are less likely than men to consider themselves "qualified" to run for office. --Women are less likely than men to express a willingness to run for a future office. According to the authors, this gender gap in political ambition persists across generations, despite contemporary society's changing attitudes towards female candidates. While other treatments of gender in the electoral process focus on candidates and office holders, It Takes a Candidate makes a unique contribution to political studies by focusing on the earlier stages of the candidate emergence process and on how gender affects the decision to seek elective office.
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Book details

List price: $26.99
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 9/12/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 220
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Jennifer Lawless received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2003. She is currently an assistant professor of political science at Brown University, with a courtesy appointment at the Taubman Center for Public Policy. Her teaching and research focus on gender politics, electoral politics, and public opinion. She has published numerous articles in academic journals, such as The American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Social Problems, and Women and Politics. She is also the lead author of a public policy report used by EMILY's List, Emerge, and the Women's Campaign School at Yale to help promote and recruit women candidates. Dr Lawless has become a recognized speaker on the subject of women candidates, frequently discussing these issues on national and local television and radio outlets.

List of Tables
List of Figures
Electoral Politics: Still a Man's World?
Representation, Equality, and the Study of Gender in Electoral Politics
Traditional Gender Socialization in the Context of U.S. Politics: The Central Argument and Its Implications
Traditional Family Role Orientations
Masculinized Ethos
Gendered Psyche
Organization of the Book
Explaining Women's Emergence in the Political Arena
Women and Elective Politics: The Numbers
Existing Explanations for Women's Underrepresentation
Societal Rejection and Cultural Evolution: The Discrimination Explanation
Institutional Inertia: The Incumbency Explanation
The Candidate Eligibility Pool: The Pipeline Explanation
The Missing Piece: Developing a Theory of Gender and Political Ambition
The Citizen Political Ambition Study
The Gender Gap in Political Ambition
Very Much the Same: Gender, Political Participation, and Political Interest
Very Much Different: Gender and Political Ambition
Considering a Candidacy
Deciding to Enter the First Race
The "Winnowing Effect"
The Gender Gap in Elective Office Preferences
Barefoot, Pregnant, and Holding a Law Degree: Family Dynamics and Running for Office
Raised to Be a Candidate?
Eligible Candidates' Family Structures and Roles
Wife, Mother, and Candidate? Family Roles as Impediments to Political Ambition
Are Times Changing? Generational Differences in Political Ambition
Gender, Party, and Political Recruitment
Eligible Candidates' Political Attitudes and Partisanship
Who Gets Asked to Run for Office?
Political Recruitment and Considering a Candidacy
"I'm Just Not Qualified": Gendered Self-Perceptions of Candidate Viability
The Impact of Self-Perceived Qualifications on Political Ambition
Explanations for the Gender Gap in Self-Perceived Qualifications
The Sexist Environment
Gender Differences in Defining Political Qualifications
Different Yardsticks for Gauging Political Qualifications
Taking the Plunge: Deciding to Run for Office
Why Would Anyone Run for Office? Negative Perceptions of the Electoral Environment and Campaign Process
Gender and the Decision to Enter a Race
A Side Note on Political Culture and "Structural" Factors
Prospective Interest in Running for Office
Gender and the Future of Electoral Politics
Summarizing the Findings and Forecasting Women's Representation
Recasting the Study of Gender and Elections
The Citizen Political Ambition Study Sample Design and Data Collection
The Survey
The Interview Questionnaire
Variable Coding
Works Cited
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