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(Re)presenting Women: Retooling Women’s Substantive Representation
Unformatted Document Text:  Christina Xydias p.26 is the most difficult one to predict. I expect that female legislators in conservative parties will substantively represent women to a greater degree than conservative male legislators, but the content of this representation is more difficult to define narrowly. In the empirical portion of this project, I analyze Bundestag plenary session debates to test the model’s expectations in the context of Germany. Table 2. Modelling Women’s Substantive Representation: “Ideal Types” Whether These Hypotheses Are More Broadly Applicable I have noted that the hypotheses posited here are only applicable to contexts where the idea that gender roles are constructed is widely available. Studies of how culture and attitudes underlie global variation in gender equality often observe such limited generalizability. In writing about global variation in gender equality, for example, Inglehart and Norris (2003) argue that the emergence of self expression values in advanced industrial societies explains the particularly high degree of equality in these contexts. Inglehart and Norris (2000) also explain the so-called gender gap 34 in developed societies in terms of values. It is difficult to explain the persistence of more traditional attitudes in the advanced industrial societies that Inglehart and Norris describe, however. By contrast, my hypotheses incorporate legislators’ attitudes towards the origins of women’s roles, which accommodates the range of values in advanced industrial societies in a way that Inglehart and Norris’s developmental theory cannot. The inapplicability of my theory to less developed societies, where fewer people are likely to have been exposed to a variety of ideas about the origins of gender roles, presents several interesting broader claims. As I have discussed, Phillips (1995) argued in theoretical terms that a balance of a politics of presence and a politics of ideas was likely 34 The gender gap refers to women and men’s different voting behavior. Inglehart and Norris (2000) attempt to explain the re-alignment of women’s voting in the late 20 th century advanced industrial world, where women are more progressive than men. In less developed societies, the gender gap manifests in women voting more conservatively than men.

Authors: Xydias, Christina.
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background image
Christina Xydias
p.26
is the most difficult one to predict. I expect that female legislators in conservative parties
will substantively represent women to a greater degree than conservative male legislators,
but the content of this representation is more difficult to define narrowly.
In the empirical portion of this project, I analyze Bundestag plenary session
debates to test the model’s expectations in the context of Germany.
Table 2. Modelling Women’s Substantive Representation: “Ideal Types”


Whether These Hypotheses Are More Broadly Applicable
I have noted that the hypotheses posited here are only applicable to contexts
where the idea that gender roles are constructed is widely available. Studies of how
culture and attitudes underlie global variation in gender equality often observe such
limited generalizability. In writing about global variation in gender equality, for example,
Inglehart and Norris (2003) argue that the emergence of self expression values in
advanced industrial societies explains the particularly high degree of equality in these
contexts. Inglehart and Norris (2000) also explain the so-called gender gap
34
in developed
societies in terms of values. It is difficult to explain the persistence of more traditional
attitudes in the advanced industrial societies that Inglehart and Norris describe, however.
By contrast, my hypotheses incorporate legislators’ attitudes towards the origins of
women’s roles, which accommodates the range of values in advanced industrial societies
in a way that Inglehart and Norris’s developmental theory cannot.
The inapplicability of my theory to less developed societies, where fewer people
are likely to have been exposed to a variety of ideas about the origins of gender roles,
presents several interesting broader claims. As I have discussed, Phillips (1995) argued in
theoretical terms that a balance of a politics of presence and a politics of ideas was likely
34
The gender gap refers to women and men’s different voting behavior. Inglehart and Norris
(2000) attempt to explain the re-alignment of women’s voting in the late 20
th
century advanced
industrial world, where women are more progressive than men. In less developed societies, the
gender gap manifests in women voting more conservatively than men.


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