Gender as a category of analysis in American political development

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9 Scopus citations


According to President George W. Bush, a nation's commitment to liberty and democracyshould be gauged by its willingness to extend rights and political recognition to women. As the world's first modern democracy, one might expect that the United States has led the way in granting equal rights to women. Furthermore, champions of political liberalism contend that ourgovernment's commitment to legal, individual rights and nondiscrimination has created equal opportunity for all, regardless of race or sex. Yet an examination of American political historyreveals the persistence of gender hierarchy in u.S. Politics, a stubborn resistance to the idea that gender should not matter to one's political standing, and, at best, an incomplete realization of the liberal ideal of equal rights for all. From a comparative perspective today, theUnited States is far behind other Western democracies in extending social rights that particularly benefit women and in the proportion of women who hold office in the national government.This has led some scholars to consider whether gender inequality is a deep-seated feature of the American political system and whether liberal political structures will ever provide for equal rights and recognition for women. Scholarship on gender and American political development can move us closer to an analytic framework that clarifies the paradoxical place that women hold in the American system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolitical Women and American Democracy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780511790621
ISBN (Print)9780521886239
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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