Examining The Constructs of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
The Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences (REGSS) provides a context where scholars interested in examining the constructs of race, ethnicity, and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective can engage each other in dialogue and collaboration. It offers opportunities for scholars researching issues of race, ethnicity, and gender to connect with colleagues in other departments and schools. REGSS provides a context where scholars interested in examining the constructs of race, ethnicity, and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective can engage each other in dialogue and collaboration. It offers opportunities for scholars researching issues of race, ethnicity, and gender to connect with colleagues in other departments and schools. Our questions and our methodologies draw on disciplinary backgrounds that include economics, history, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology, and we welcome participants from across Duke University.
As the number of African Americans elected to state legislatures has increased, so has the presence of formal caucuses consisting of all, or almost all, of these legislators. Jas M. Sullivan and Jonathan Winburn state, in The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, that such caucuses are present in ‘‘at least 30 states’’ (p. 37).
Political scientists serve in court rooms as expert witnesses on many topics related to their professional training: elections, same-sex marriages,employer sanctions for hiring undocumented aliens, school desegregation, political asylum requests, property rights, and racial profiling, among many others. It is not by chance that we—the authors—have chosen to testify as experts in cases concerning elections (see also Cain 1999).
The concept of “influence district” is referenced frequently in discussing minority voting rights and representational districting.
Geographically based majority-minority single member districts (SMDs) have been the medium generally, but not exclusively, for providing minority groups protected by the Voting Rights Act (VRA) with new opportunities to elect representatives of their choice to legislative bodies. Two other election systems have been used for this purpose as well: cumulative (CV) and limited voting (LV).
The federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) is an iconic civil rights statute. It was adopted in 1965, and amended in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006, the later revision including an extension of its special time-limited provisions, applicable to primarily southern states, to July 27, 2031. It is widely regarded as the most effective civil rights law in the history of the United States.
Does the election of minority group members enhance the representation of their groups in legislative bodies? It was once widely thought, at least when it came to groups like African Americans and Latinos, that the answer is yes. Indeed, the prevailing view was the more the better. But this view is not unchallenged. An alternative perspective, labeled the “perverse effects thesis,” maintains that more descriptive representation is not necessarily better, at least in contemporary American politics.
Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama incited a wave of news articles and commentary discussing
the United States’ changing voter demographics and what it could mean for the future of the
Republican Party. Conservative commentators, such as Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, publicly lamented
the loss of “traditional” white America, to be replaced by a country of non-white voters who
“want stuff” from government.
Representing Women’s Interests and Intersections of Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in U.S. State Legislatures
In the U.S. context, political scientists have employed various definitions of women’s political interests: some are more women- or gender-specific (or explicit) than others; some are more feminist, liberal, or radical than others. To what extent do our definitions of women’s interests affect who is or appears to be more or less willing to act for women? Does the relationship between women’s descriptive and substantive representation depend on how we define women’s interests?
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Social Justice and Urban Governance in the American South: Towards A New Conceptual Framework for Understanding Race, Politics, and Inequality
Classic” works of political science, history, and sociology have long framed debates and research about the South, books such as John Dollard’s, Caste and Class in a Southern Town, W.J Cash’s famous Mind of the South written in the early 1940’s, Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma published in the same era, V.O.
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The presence of women in the realm of state legislative politics has increased dramatically within the past few decades. Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has quintupled. In 2011, women make up 23.3% of state legislators throughout the United States (NFWL 2011). While there is an implicit assumption that as more women are elected to political office their power and influence in policymaking will increase, a greater presence of women in politics does not necessarily translate into a proportionate amount of female power and influence (Kathlene 1994).
Research on racial humor emphasizes the subversive role of marginal group humor, while the media studies literature highlights the dominant ideological work reproduced by popular television. This paper examines racial humor on television. I analyze two popular sketch comedy shows hosted by comedians of color, Dave Chappelle’s Chappelle’s Show and Carlos Mencia’s Mind of Mencia. I explore how the frames of color-blind racism are used within the context of these television programs. How do these two particular comedians of color mediate these contrasting roles with regards to the dominant