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POL203Y1 (14)
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Chapter 6

Wasserman, Chapters 6, 7 & 8

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL203Y1
Professor
Ryan Hurl
Semester
Winter

Description
thPOL203Y1 US Government and Politics January 19 2012Wasserman Chapters 6 78Chapter 6 CampaignsHilary Clinton and Sarah PalinSexism in the 2008 Presidential Race y Frames used to describe how issues and people are defined in the media y Framing presents and emphasizes certain aspects of an issue or political figure what is important what is the range of acceptable debate about the subject and what conclusions can we draw about them y By choosing a common frame to describe an event condition or political personage journalists shape public opinion y Gender was common frame used w both women candidates in 2008 to introduce explain or criticize them to the public y Both handled gender in diff ways y Clinton stressed her experience and competence in her public image but risked being characterized as unfeminine unattractive and unsympathetic y Palin a younger newcomer to national politics emphasized traditional female roles as a mother and wife while projecting an image of conservative toughness But her appearance and frontier style could be used to define her as lacking intelligence and preparation for the office she sought y McCain chose Palin to be his vice pres for 2008 election however his staff failed to brief Palin on foreign and domestic issues and they knew little about her y Palin was a conservative prolife proguns and prostates rights y Press focused on aspects of her gender in framing their issue of her qualifications y Clinton former corporate lawyer was first career woman to become First Lady y She spoke before UN led international delegations pushing for human and womens rights and became known for her strong advocacy for govt programs assisting children and families y She was a polarizing leader in Democratic Party y In 2000 she became senator of NY y W her own national reputation and her husbands network of political allies Hilary became frontrunner for party nomination soon after George W Bushs reelection in 2004 y Hilarys long political experience and national coalition she has behind her campaign has raised expectation to an unrealistic levelGender and Expectations y Palins sudden emergence on political scene and her relative lack of experience sharpened the intense public scrutiny by the media y Clintons identity as a First Lady and the almost casual if harsh judgments of her as a woman eg her looks dress and feminism were part of how she was presented in the media y For both gender roles were important in how they were presented to public through media sty 1 is how camping projects image of candidate by her words appearance and actions thPOL203Y1 US Government and Politics January 19 2012 y Through media she can shape how central to her public image is her husband her children and her role in her family and how traditionally does she define her involvement in her home lifea difficult balance of most career women y More important are the general frames the press and public bring to their evaluation of female candidates y Here media judges what is of interest or entertaining to their audience what information about candidate should be covered and with what emphasis y Female candidates are reported on differently than males y Women often receive more coverage than men on their appearance personality and family y Stores on women candidates are more likely to define them on heir roles y Factors including party loyalty incumbency and ideology are much more important in influencing how people vote than media framing y Eg the overwhelming number of men presently hold congressional seats and thus bring the advantages of incumbency to their campaigns is arguably the major reason that the percentage of omen in congress remains low y However media coverage that stereotypes female candidates may influence voters in evaluating leadership traitspeople do use sex stereotypes when evaluating equivalent male and female candidates y Female candidates are seen as better able to deal w womens issues such as education and health y They are also considered more honest and compassionate than male candidates as well as less likely to be professional politicians y Where information gaps exits cues from stereotypes become more important y Eg in some polls Republicans were less likely to vote for candidates who were females because the women were thought to be more liberal eg strong on welfare spending and social issues and weak on foreign policy and military security y When female candidates who were conservatives emphasized these issues the lag in support among Republicans disappearedThe Feminine Bind y Appearing feminine is a disadvantage to being seen as a leader esp a national leadership position traditionally occupied by men and requiring socalled masculine traits of aggressiveness dominance and toughness y Gender roles conflict w qualities needed for leadershipwomen candidates may be tempted to play down their feminine sides while stressing strength and their ability to get the job done y However appearing more masculine may make these women less likeablepublic responds negatively to women who appear too masculine y She is seen as less sympathetic to underprivileged less understanding of more traditional women less on side of change y Kahthleen Hall Jamieson women who are considered feminine will be judged incompetent and women who are competent unfemininewomen who succeed
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