A Seat at the Table

by Kelly Dittmar (Author), Kira Sanbonmatsu (Author), Susan J. Carroll (Author)

The presence of women in Congress is at an all-time high -- approximately one of every five members is female -- and record numbers of women are running for public office for the 2018 midterms. At the same time, Congress is more polarized than ever, and little research exists on how women in Congress view their experiences and contributions to American politics today. Drawing on personal interviews with over three-quarters of the women serving in the 114th Congress (2015-17), the authors analyze how these women navigate today's stark partisan divisions, and whether they feel effective in their jobs. Through first-person perspectives, A Seat at the Table looks at what motivates these women's legislative priorities and behavior, details the ways in which women experience service within a male-dominated institution, and highlights why it matters that women sit in the nation's federal legislative chambers. It describes the strategies women employ to overcome any challenges they confront as well as the opportunities available to them. The book examines how gender interacts with political party, race and ethnicity, seniority, chamber, and district characteristics to shape women's representational influence and behavior, finding that party and race/ethnicity are the two most complicating factors to a singular narrative of women's congressional representation. While congresswomen's perspectives, experiences, and influence are neither uniform nor interchangeable, they strongly believe their presence matters in myriad ways, affecting congressional culture, priorities, processes, debates, and outcomes.

Book Details

Publication Date
August 17, 2018
Publisher
Page count
240
ISBN
9780190915759