Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Logan Dancey

Major

Government

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

I develop a theory of the Democratic and Republican Parties as possessing gender reputations—Republicans are masculine, Democrats are feminine—that fundamentally shape how they present themselves on both women's issues and non-gendered issues. Specifically, Republicans attempt to appear more feminine in order to win over female voters. I empirically validate this theory by analyzing an array of party messaging: campaign advertisements, convention speeches, and party platforms from 2004-2012. I find that Republicans attempt to appeal to women through woman-centric rhetoric, discussion of the family, and strategic use of elite and non-elite female messengers.

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