A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters

A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters

A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters

A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters

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Overview

The presence of women in Congress is at an all-time high — approximately one of every five members is female — and record numbers of women are running for public office for the 2018 midterms. At the same time, Congress is more polarized than ever, and little research exists on how women in Congress view their experiences and contributions to American politics today. Drawing on personal interviews with over three-quarters of the women serving in the 114th Congress (2015-17), the authors analyze how these women navigate today's stark partisan divisions, and whether they feel effective in their jobs. Through first-person perspectives, A Seat at the Table looks at what motivates these women's legislative priorities and behavior, details the ways in which women experience service within a male-dominated institution, and highlights why it matters that women sit in the nation's federal legislative chambers. It describes the strategies women employ to overcome any challenges they confront as well as the opportunities available to them. The book examines how gender interacts with political party, race and ethnicity, seniority, chamber, and district characteristics to shape women's representational influence and behavior, finding that party and race/ethnicity are the two most complicating factors to a singular narrative of women's congressional representation. While congresswomen's perspectives, experiences, and influence are neither uniform nor interchangeable, they strongly believe their presence matters in myriad ways, affecting congressional culture, priorities, processes, debates, and outcomes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190915735
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/14/2018
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 731,309
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Kelly Dittmar is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers-Camden and Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on gender and American political institutions with a particular focus on how gender informs campaigns and the impact of gender diversity among elites in policy and political decisions, priorities, and processes. She is the author of Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Temple University Press).

Kira Sanbonmatsu is Professor of Political Science and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Her research interests include gender, race/ethnicity, political parties, and American politics. She is the author of Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States (University of Michigan Press) and Democrats, Republicans, and the Politics of Women's Place (University of Michigan Press), and the coauthor of More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures (Oxford University Press). Her work has also appeared in journals such as Political Research Quarterly and Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy.

Susan J. Carroll is Professor of Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is co-author of More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to State Legislatures (Oxford University Press, with Kira Sanbonmatsu) and co-editor of Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (Fourth Edition, Cambridge University Press, with Richard L. Fox). Carroll also has published numerous journal articles and book chapters focusing on women candidates, voters, elected officials, and political appointees in the United States.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Representation
Chapter 3: Obstacles and Opportunities
Chapter 4: Navigating Partisan Polarization
Chapter 5: Congresswomen's Work across Party Lines
Chapter 6: Altering Policy Agendas and Debates
Chapter 7: Changing the Institution, Image, and Exercise of Power
Chapter 8: Conclusion: Representation Matters
Appendix A: Methodology
Appendix B: List of Congresswomen Interviewed
Bibliography
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