Politics & Gender

The State of the Field: Studying Women, Gender, and Politics

Studying Gender in U.S. Politics: Where Do We Go from Here?

Richard L. Foxa1

a1 Loyola Marymount University

The prominence and acceptance of gender as an important subject of inquiry in U.S. politics has been steadily growing in political science. Indeed, in the 1960s and 1970s, small sample sizes of women in politics and disdain from the disciplinary gatekeepers made the serious study of gender in U.S. politics difficult to pursue (Flammang 1997; Tolleson-Rinehart and Carroll 2006). The world is clearly different today, as gender politics courses are finding their way into undergraduate and graduate curricula throughout the United States. While the ascension of gender analysis of U.S. politics as a critical variable for study is not complete, the future is bright. Several recent volumes have addressed the current state of the subfield, and most notably, Susan J. Carroll's (2003) edited volume Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions focused on the very purpose of laying out a research agenda for those studying gender in U.S. politics (see also Krook and Childs 2010; Wolbrecht, Beckwith, and Baldez 2008). In this essay, I continue the discussion of where the gender and U.S. politics subfield is headed by providing a brief overview of the state of the field and by offering suggestions for future avenues of study, primarily in the area of candidate emergence.

(Online publication March 08 2011)

Richard L. Fox is Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA 90045: richard.fox@lmu.edu