Course Description: This course is an exploration of the role gender and sex play in politics, including voting, party activism, leadership, candidacy, holding office, and law-making. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between gender and political behavior, including political socialization, political attitudes, and public policy creation. Time will be spent on understanding what gender and sex mean in American politics, as well as the effect that disparate power has on political behavior.
This course has three goals. The first goal is for you to understand the effect of gender on political behavior. To accomplish this goal, we will spend time examining and critiquing theories and evidence relating to gender gap, political socialization, gender stereotypes, and group consciousness. Careful attention will be paid to evidence provided for these theories.
The second goal of the course is for you to develop an understanding of the role that gender has in the distribution of political power. To accomplish this goal, we will examine women’s political history, with a special examination of the origins and effects of feminist movements in the US.
A third goal of this course is to provide you with opportunities to engage in your own research, and use these skills to build on the extant literature. To this end, we will also spend time each class discussing any issues with that week’s readings, and ways to address these issues in future research.