Gender and Politics in the United States

The question of women participating in politics is as timely as never before. The role of women in policy-making has significantly changed over the last century, but females still have much to achieve in this field. Once it was hideous for women to vote; next it was odd to see a woman in the Senate and a woman-candidate for the presidency. Everything that is impossible at one time will sooner or later be implemented. Women in power are no exception.
Defining the place of women in politics, we have to say that they have different political attitudes than men do and their participation is uneven. Unlike men, women often pursue liberal goals. They are less likely to support military force and turn their eye to welfare and social sphere. For this reason, more women identify with the Democratic party and support its candidates. In such activities as voting, protesting, and improving local politics, men and women participate as equals. But women are less likely to participate in political campaigns, seek a place in political organizations, and contact public officials. Besides, an average woman is less politically interested and informed than an average man.
Women are underrepresented in legislation, executive office, and court. Only one woman has been a major party candidate for president by now. There are plenty of factors to explain poor representation of females, from lack of resources (money, popular support) to poor competitive skills and decision making. Importantly, women are more likely to participate when they have a female role model in power. Thus, the more women participate in politics, the more are encouraged to do so as well.

Voting Behavior

A vote of one person seems to be a little thing. Votes of the entire population can change every political or economic decision, no matter how complex it is. Voting behavior influences public policies that emerge in democratic societies. Voting behavior includes vote choice and vote decisions. First, people choose their perfect candidate and then they decide whether they want to participate in voting at all.
Studies in psychology and sociology attempt to explain why people make their political choices. Apparently, geography, wealth, social class, religion, and culture define whether we prefer Democrats or Republicans. It is also very likely that our political choices are nurtured in the family because they are the people we trust most. This way of making choices is called political socialization.
Another approach explaining our voting behavior is a rational choice theory. Its founders imply that we do a deep research in politics and know everything about each party and candidate. Under the rational choice theory, it looks like we possess all the information available, can place politics on the political spectrum, and can determine our own place within this spectrum. Nevertheless, we are least likely to make such rational choices because an average American citizen is politically unsophisticated and poorly informed.
Besides political socialization, there is another theory explaining voters’ behavior within psychological constraints. The theory suggests voters evaluate parties and candidates according to six characteristics. Thus, we estimate how positive we feel about Republicans and Democrats in the first place. If we strongly favor any of the parties, there are few chances we would eventually vote for the candidate from the other party. Next, we investigate how successful each party manages government and group interests. And last we are interested in its success in domestic and international policies. These unsophisticated questions are enough to determine whether the candidate is worth our vote or not.

Political Socialization

We do not make our political decisions by chance; neither we thoroughly research the field to make a rational choice. Political decisions come as the result of political socialization. It includes social forces that are not connected to electoral politics and affect individuals over time. Existing political attitudes are transmitted between social groups that further develop political orientation.
Political socialization has little to do with the political presentation of parties and candidates. Scholars who researched voting behaviors found out that race, gender, religion, social class, and more non-political factors define whether the person is interested in politics and to what extent they participate in it. In a democratic state, political decisions are driven by external social conditions rather than by personal interests of politicians. Understanding causes behind political participation of electorate, parties can not only promote their candidates but contribute to political stability in the country.
Culture, environment, and personality are the three inputs that determine political socialization. Saying that socialization depends on the culture of individuals, we mean that race, ethnicity, and religion define the worldview first and then form political preferences. Under the environment, we understand social agents around us. Even assuming that we adopt political choices of our parents, there are peers, teachers, and mass media that also influence what we like and what we choose. But of course, our personality filters all the cultural and social impacts that change the beliefs and attitudes we already have.
Political socialization usually happens in primary and secondary groups. Primary groups are families and secondary groups consist of peers, other social groups, and media. The most powerful influence is made within the family. It is the place where we can get protection and emotional support. Similarly, families create social trust evaluating individuals and organizations. Secondary groups do not influence our choices so much because they merely complement what family has put into us.

Political Campaigns

We cannot imagine any elections without a political campaign. It is a common pre-election procedure, and scholars have hardly paid any attention to it yet recently. But for the last decades, campaigns became much more strategic and professional so that scholars make numerous insights into the present-day campaigns. Advertising is a primary instrument to influence the electorate. It shapes voters’ minds yet before the campaign begins.
Political campaigns are worth studying because they promote social democracy. Candidates have to earn voters’ support to win an election. Campaign motivate voters to make their choices and support candidates for the presentation of their own achievements instead of exploiting the portrait of their party. Though essential, it is difficult to develop a single approach to studying campaigns. A city commission, the Senate, or presidential office all have different campaigning styles.
To make a system out of the campaign study, scholars took several points for analysis. They look at the level of the campaign (local or presidential), the complexity of its organization, gender of the candidate, campaign advertising, fund-raising activities, and effects of the campaign. Federal-level campaigns receive much more attention than state-level races because they are much more expensive and complex, thus more interesting. However, comparing large and small campaigns we can identify which factors make it essential for presidential campaigns to be so advanced.
Campaign advertising has recently drawn the extra attention of scholars and voters themselves. The revolution of political ads takes us from televised advertising of the 1950s to discreet manipulation on the social media that is not always identified as political ads straight away. Political advertising is based on behaviorism that allows strategic thinkers to predict the response of voters and influence them effectively.

Public Policy and Administration

As government activities became more complex, a better qualification of public administration was required. In the late 19th century, Woodrow Wilson called for the development of public service. He suggested that the US could borrow some model of administration from European monarchies without undermining American democracy. At the same time, Max Weber researched bureaucracy in Germany. He stated that the wealth of information would put bureaucrats over any other officials in power when he described bureaucracy as a rational and efficient hierarchical apparatus. Woodrow and Weber developed what is known as a classic model of public administration.
In the 20th century, the classic model was succeeded with the open-system administration. To successfully arrange the operation, organizations had to take into account threats from the external political bodies first. In the complex intergovernmental system, we shall view organizations like organisms. Customs and beliefs of people within the organization are as important as its rules to administrative practices.
Public administration is closely connected to public policy. It can be studied using the stages model that includes agenda-setting as well as formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of a policy. Before implementing any policy, officials have to attract government’s attention to it. Some topics quickly turn into agenda while the others can shuffle for a long time. As the agenda is ready, government community drafts the proposal to make it look like a policy. When the draft is complete, the governmental institution can adopt the policy. In a while after executives have implemented the policy, the government can evaluate its functioning to amend it. These steps of public policy-making allow creating effective policies that regulate the life of organizations and individuals.

Doping in sports essay sample

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