A Woman's Place Is in the House: Campaigning for Congress in the Feminist Era

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In this first comprehensive examination of women candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Barbara Burrell argues that women are as successful at winning elections as are men. Why, then, are there still so few women members of Congress? Compared to other democratically elected national parliaments, the U.S. Congress ranks very low in its proportion of women members. Yet during the past decade, more and more women have participated in state and local governments. Why have women not made the same gains at ...
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Overview

In this first comprehensive examination of women candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Barbara Burrell argues that women are as successful at winning elections as are men. Why, then, are there still so few women members of Congress? Compared to other democratically elected national parliaments, the U.S. Congress ranks very low in its proportion of women members. Yet during the past decade, more and more women have participated in state and local governments. Why have women not made the same gains at the national level? To answer these questions, A Woman's Place Is in the House examines the experiences of the women who have run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1968 through 1992 and compares their presence and performance with that of male candidates. The longitudinal study examines both general and primary elections and refutes many myths associated with women candidates: they are able to raise money as well as do men, they are not collectively victimized by gender discrimination on the campaign trail, and they do receive the same amount of support from both political interest groups and political parties. In order to increase their representation in Congress, Burrell concludes, first a greater number of women need to run for office. A Woman's Place Is in the House suggests that 1992 was correctly dubbed the "Year of the Woman" in American politics - not so much because women overcame perceived barriers to being elected but because for the first time a significant number of women chose to run in primaries. Burrell's study examines the effects women are having on the congressional agenda and discusses how these influences will affect future elections. Furthermore, the study offers insight on how a number of issues - term limitations and campaign finance reform, for example - impact on electing women to Congress.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472104796
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Pages: 224

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 American Views of Women as Political Leaders: The Polls, Experiments, and Surveys 15
3 The Presence and Performance of Women Candidates in Primary Elections 35
4 The Backgrounds of Female Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, 1968-92 57
5 Political Parties and Women's Candidacies 81
6 Sex and Money: The Financing of Women's and Men's Campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, 1972-92 101
7 The Presence and Performance of Women Candidates in General Elections for the U.S. House of Representatives 131
8 Women Members of Congress and Policy Representation 151
9 Conclusion 183
References 193
Index 207
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