Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Gendering political leadership : a case study of the UK, examining media and voter perceptions
Author: Smith, Jessica
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 6460
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The central research question of this thesis is: Are perceptions of political leadership gendered, and if so, how? The thesis examines both the different ways, and extent to which, the concept of political leadership is gendered and how this gendering is context specific via an examination of the UK case. Gendered norms are dynamic and vary over time and place, yet, much of the extant literature on gender stereotypes and leader evaluations takes a somewhat static approach to theorising how gender mediates political leadership and pays too little attention to cultural and political context. This runs counter to recent work within the 'interactionalist' paradigm in the wider study of political leadership, which privileges context in determining the effectiveness of leaders. This thesis takes a twin-track method to examine in-depth, firstly, the media's representations of men and women political leaders, both in the contemporary context and over time, and, secondly, voter perceptions of British political leadership using innovative experimental methods. It offers the first comprehensive and methodologically nuanced account of gender's role in political leadership in the UK context. The two methods work in synergy to reveal nuances and complexities in the gendering of political leadership in the British case. The analysis supports the thesis' original claim: that gendering is complex; that context is important; and that a primarily US-based body of literature does not necessarily, or easily, travel to the UK context. Moreover, gendering was found to vary between media and voters, over time, and potentially between demographic groups of voters. A systematic analysis of the British case offers an opportunity to contribute to, and critically engage with, current gendered and non-gendered debates on political leadership and increases our understanding of the complex gendered environment in which leaders operate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available