American women of color and rational non-candidacy: when silent citizenship makes politics look like old white men shouting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Candidate emergence research emphasizes the importance of political ambition in determining who runs and, therefore, who governs. Political scientists tend to assume that there is a sufficient quantity of people of sufficient quality and diversity to form good, representative governments. Yet my research finds strong ‘candidate deterrent effects’ for women of color – effectively silencing people who would be strong candidates and representatives. I draw on data from an original survey and interviews with a unique group of young eligible candidates. These data suggest that women of color lack faith in politics’ ability to solve problems and perceive it as a discriminatory space. Their aversion to running is fully rational, based on perceptions of high costs and low rewards involved in candidacies. But their rational decisions lead to a system-level irrationality of continuing unrepresentative government that silences the ‘different voice’ emerging from race and gender diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-569
Number of pages17
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

Keywords

  • Hispanic women
  • Latinas
  • black women
  • candidates
  • gender
  • political ambition
  • running for office
  • silent citizenship
  • women of color

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