Women and Politics: Introduction

Date01 March 1981
DOI10.1177/106591298103400101
Published date01 March 1981
Subject MatterArticles
WOMEN
AND
POLITICS:
INTRODUCTION
HIS
SPECIAL
issue
on
women
and
politics
elicited
great
interest
t
from
scholars
around
the
United
States.
It
demonstrates
that
the
-~-
study
of
women
and
politics
is
expanding
and
breaking
new
ground
in
many
different
subfields
of
political
science.
The
work
of
the
seventeen
contributors
in
this
special
issue
is
distinguished
both
by
its
originality
and
by
its
concern
for
integrating
materials
on
women
into
core
areas
of
the
discipline.
The
studies
by
Susan
Welch
and
Philip
Secret,
and
by
Claire
Knoche
Fulenwider,
illuminate
the
interrelationships
of
sex
and
race
in
mass
political
participation.
Welch
and
Secret
conclude
that
no
existing
theories
of
partici-
pation
explain
subgroup
variation
based
on
race
and
sex.
Their
proposed
alternative
explanation
of
perceived
costs
and
benefits
of
participation
coin-
cides
with
Fulenwider’s
findings
that
while
feminist
attitudes
correlate
with
support
for
traditional
forms
of
participation
among
white
women,
they
do
not
among
minority
women.
It
would
appear
that
traditional
politics
have
simply
not
yielded
enough
benefits
to
make
political
participation
salient
for
most
minority
women.
The
next
four
studies
in
this
issue
reexamine
traditional
notions
about
participation
in
light
of
enduring
sex
differences
among
political
elites.
The
article
by
Lynda
Watts
Powell,
Clifford
W.
Brown,
Jr.
and
Roman
B.
Hedges
concludes
that
sex
differences
in
contributing
money
to
political
campaigns
are
mitigated
by
socioeconomic
and
familial
variables.
Their
finding
may
be
related
to
the
fact
that
entrance
to
this
elite
is
not
controlled
by
other
actors;
thus,
women’s
lesser
role
is
more
a
consequence
of
sex
role
stereotyping
than
discrimination.
In
contrast,
the
entry
of
women
into
representative
roles
is,
to
some
extent,
controlled
by
other
actors.
Under
what
conditions
do
women
succeed
to
representative
roles?
Sarah
Slavin
Schramm,
in
a
longitudinal
study
of
representation,
suggests
that,
in
addition
to
other
factors,
the
socialization
of
women
in
periods
when
their
social
and
economic
roles
are
in
flux
contrib-
utes
to
their
desire
and
success
in
achieving
political
roles.
Schramm’s
op-
timism
about
the
future
of
female
representation,
given
the
contemporary
period
of
sex
role
changes,
must
be
weighed
against
Wilma
Rule’s
findings
that
the
obstacles
facing
women
candidates
are
less
related
to
eligibility
fac-
tors
than
to
various
contextual
factors
surrounding
nomination.
These
con-
textual
factors
(principally
party
dominance
and
population
densities)
pro-
vide
a
Catch-22
situation
for
female
congressional
aspirants.
In
states
with
larger
pools
of
female
state
legislators
(Republican,
low
population
states)
there
are
few
opportunities,
due
to
size,
for
women
to
run
for
Congress,
while
states
with
smaller
pools
of
female
state
legislators
(Democratic,
high
population
states)
elect
few
women
to
Congress
both
because
there
are
fewer
women
in
the
pool
and
because
the
party
machinery
tends
to
support
trad-
tional
male
candidates.
The
attitudes
of
voters
regarding
women
candidates
may
be
more
sus-
ceptible
to
change
than
those
of
the
party
influentials.
Laurie
E.
Ekstrand
and
William
A.
Eckert
test
bias
against
female
candidates
in
an
experimental
study
of
college
students.
They
find
no
evidence
of
bias
against
female
candidates
among
their
general
population,
although
they
do
find
patterns
of
bias
among
some
population
subgroups.
Susan
MacManus
in
her
study
of
city
elections
in
Houston
demonstrates
that
voters
attributed
a
positive
change
in
their
attitudes
toward
women
candidates
based
on
their
favorable
evaluation
of
the
city’s
first
female
officeholder.
MacManus
suggests
that
the

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