Please join us for a Women and Politics Colloquium by Orlanda Ward on *Monday, March 9* from 12:30 - 2:00 P.M. in the Eagleton Drawing Room. The talk is titled "Intersectional Stereotypes and Coverage of Political Campaigns by African American Women.” This project is in its very early stages and Orlanda welcomes your feedback.
Orlanda Ward is a Rutgers Visiting Scholar and PhD Candidate at University College London. Orlanda’s research interests span many aspects of gender and political behaviour, particularly women’s political representation and representations of women in politics. Her thesis considers the intersectional effects of ethnicity and gender on the quality and quantity of campaign coverage received by political candidates in the US and UK. Prior to commencing her PhD, Orlanda worked for a number of gender-focused NGOs and a senior female politician in the UK.
How are African American female candidates’ ethnicity and gender represented in coverage of electoral campaigns? Are intersectional stereotypes of African American women in general reflected in representations of those who enter politics? If so, do such representations link ethnicity and gender to candidates’ character, competency, or viability? This study employs an open-ended, qualitative content analysis of coverage of a sample of the most prominent African American female candidates in the US 2012 House elections. Single-axis studies of framing of predominantly white women and minority men have identified various explicit ‘racial’ and ‘gendered’ frames in pre-election coverage. Few, however, have considered explicit intersectional frames applied to minority women as candidates. This exploratory, descriptive analysis considers the way in which racial and gendered references to- for example, appearance, traits, issues or experience- reflect more generalised stereotypes and frame minority female candidates and their campaigns.