Women and Politics: A Quest for Political Equality in an Age of Economic Inequality, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women and Politics

A Quest for Political Equality in an Age of Economic Inequality, 1st Edition

By Barbara Burrell


268 pages | 34 B/W Illus.

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This textbook presents a much-needed exploration of the many ways that women in the United States have used their voices in the political process.

Written in a concise and accessible style, Women and Politics equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand the political involvement of women as individuals and their efforts to achieve political and economic equity as a group. This textbook is both historical, examining trends, and contemporary, focusing on participation and the public policy concerns of women in the early decades of the 21st century.

Key content and features:

· Exploration of diverse actions women have taken to achieve empowerment and gender equity

· Surveys women as voters, as candidates for elected office, and as interest group organizers lobbying for equity in public policy and for global women’s rights

· Chronicles protest actions against unequal practices of economic and governmental elites

· Highlights the actions of women with few economic resources that join together to challenge local power structures.


Readers will appreciate Burrell's valuable insights on the multiple political voices of American women and the challenges of economic inequality in their quest for political equality.


'In this book, Barbara Burrell draws on a wealth empirical data to provide an insightful and accessible account of women’s long and unfinished struggle for political equality and empowerment. This book is perfect for gender and politics courses at the undergraduate or graduate level, as well as for anyone concerned about issues of equality, and inequality, in the United States.' - Laurel Elder, Professor of Political Science, Hartwick College

'In this book, Barbara Burrell makes visible the myriad ways in which women have engaged, influenced, and disrupted politics. In expanding the sites in which to identify political practice and providing key economic context, Burrell offers a contemporary and comprehensive assessment of women's political interventions and power.' - Kelly Dittmar, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The First and Second Women’s Rights Movements

3. Women’s Political Voice and Economic Inequality

4. Gender, Voting, Electioneering and Public Opinion

5. Political Parties: Bringing Women into the Electoral Arena

6. "Doing Politics:" Women’s Empowerment and Community Activism

7. Women’s NGOs: Advocating for Global Women’s Rights

8. Women’s Candidacies for Elected Office

9. The 2016 Presidential Election and the First Woman President?

10. Public Policy on Women’s Rights and Equity Issues

11. Women’s Political Participation in a Comparative Perspective

About the Author

Barbara Burrell is Professor Emerita of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. She has taught women and politics classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Burrell has researched and written extensively on women engaging in politics in the United States, including studies on women as candidates for public office and public opinion and the first ladyship. The Midwest Political Science Association’s Women’s Caucus awarded Professor Burrell a lifetime career achievement award in 2012.

About the Series

Routledge Series on Identity Politics

Group identities have been an important part of political life in America since the founding of the republic. For most of this long history, the central challenge for activists, politicians, and scholars concerned with the quality of U.S. democracy was the struggle to bring the treatment of ethnic and racial minorities and women in line with the creedal values spelled out in the nation’s charters of freedom. We are now several decades from the key moments of the twentieth century when social movements fractured America’s system of ascriptive hierarchy. The gains from these movements have been substantial. Women now move freely in all realms of civil society, hold high elective offices, and constitute more than 50 percent of the workforce. Most African-Americans have now attained middle class status, work in integrated job sites, and live in suburbs. Finally, people of color from nations in Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean now constitute the majority of America’s immigration pool.

In the midst of all of these positive changes, however, glaring inequalities between groups persist. Indeed, ethnic and racial minorities remain far more likely to be undereducated, unemployed, and incarcerated than their counterparts who identify as white. Similarly, both violence and work place discrimination against women remain rampant in U.S. society. The Routledge series on identity politics features works that seek to understand the tension between the great strides our society has made in promoting equality between groups and the residual effects of the ascriptive hierarchies in which the old order was rooted.

Some of the core questions that the series will address are: how meaningful are the traditional ethnic, gender, racial, and sexual identities to our understanding of inequality in the present historical moment? Do these identities remain important bases for group mobilization in American politics? To what extent can we expect the state to continue to work for a more level playing field among groups?

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies