Student: Emma Cotter
Major: Political Science
Advisors: Dr. Angie Bos, Dr. Àlvaro Corral
This thesis explores how a candidate’s intersectional identity affects their use of gender and race issue ownership techniques in their political campaigns. Prior research has studied the campaign strategies of (white) female candidates and black (male) candidates, but has not studied the effects of possessing multiple minority identities on the campaign strategies. Scholars have found that female candidates benefit from embracing gender issue ownership in their campaigns, while black candidates benefit from rejecting race issue ownership in their campaigns. I theorize that black female candidates’ intersectional identities preclude them from highlighting part of their identity while downplaying another. Using a content analysis method, I analyze the 2018 campaign websites of black female, black male, and white female candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Limited by a small sample size, I do not find statistically significant evidence to support my hypotheses. However, I do find evidence that points to a variety of other important implications that support my hypothesis, for the ways that we understand the theory of deracialization, and for the importance of continuing to employ intersectional frameworks in political science.
Emma will be online to field comments on May 8:
2-4pm EDT (PST 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening)