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Political socialization and how women define politics and power Essay

There are various types of political socialization, and these have various effects on political participation. The traditional sex role socialization involves the integration of traditional roles performed by men and women into the political scene. This form of socialization has the effect of exclusion of women in political participation and dominance of politics by men. This effect has been in existence for a long time; like for instance, until 1975, exclusion of women from jury duty could be granted on ground of interference with domestic chores.

According to Lawless and Fox (8-11), another type of political socialization involves the masculinized ethos, and this is the type of political socialization which relies on political institutions during campaigns. Since most of the institutions are dominated by men, then an ethos of masculinity is developed. This form of socialization is reinforced by the lack of legislature which advocates for inclusion of female participation in policy agendas. This form of socialization also serves to alienate women from positions of power and political participation.

The gendered psyche is a form of socialization which ensures male domination of the political activities through infusing a culture which relegates women to the periphery in political participation. Women are made to feel valued, protected and secure, which makes it be viewed as normal for men to engage in politics but not reasonable for women to engage in it. This is a situation which is seen in the corporate scene. A large number of women normally downplay achievements in business, which makes them qualify for much lower salaries compared to men with similar or even lesser achievements.

This form of socialization encourages political participation by men and discourages political participation by women. However, despite all these challenges, some women such as Latina women still manage to play very important roles in politics (Cohen & Jones 224-230). Part B How women define politics. Latina women in Boston Massachusetts play important roles in the political scene. They are involved in protest marches, community events, voter registration, election campaigns, workshops, community forums and social and political change.

They play very crucial roles in the development of society and most of the women who were surveyed wanted to get involved in politics (Cohen & Jones 223-231). These women experience certain stages of development which encourage them to join politics. These stages involve the questioning of conditions where they live and searching for solutions from other people and themselves. However, some women recognize the need for change and grab the opportunity to do what they believe in. Socialism, independence and statehood are the main motivators in joining politics for some women.

Other women are motivated by problems which they experienced such as poor housing, school dropout and AIDS in the community. There are also other women who believe that socialization in the family is a major determinant of joining politics. There are different perspectives of politics according to the Latina women, with some viewing it as involving giving support, and helping others in fulfilling their obligation. This is an aspect of politics which is derived from the family social setting. It can be traced to the fact that most Latinas from political supportive families, view sharing as the goal of working with other people.

The Latina family traditions advocate for helping, giving or sharing and forms the basis of political activities. Women who are socialized according to this perspective aim at empowering the people in the community and sharing the resources which are available. Another perspective of politics according to the Latina women is escape from oppression. Since many Latina women have faced oppression at one point in their lives, either from the system, their husbands or fathers, they identify with this cause and believe that politics is a solution from oppression.

These above perspectives capture how most Latina women define politics. Part C How women define power. According to Lawless and Fox (1-5), most women do not have the confidence to seek positions of power despite having excellent credentials and qualifications. A survey was performed and targeted four qualified career people who had high credentials, in a bid to find out their chances for running for a position of power. These people were Cheryl, Tricia, Randall and Kevin. Cheryl is an accomplished lawyer with excellent credentials while Tricia is a professor in Sociology in a large University.

Randall is also a college professor while Kevin is a partner in a law firm. The survey revealed that unlike men who are ready to grab the positions of power, women did not even consider running for the same positions. Cheryl and Tricia would not consider running for a position of power, while Randall and Kevin said they would grab the opportunity immediately. This is a situation which is replicated in the political scene. Women are not ready to run for public office irrespective of the fact that they are highly qualified.

Since there are no obvious obstacles in campaigning for office for the female gender, it is clear that the lack of interest in running for power plays a major role in the dominance of political scene by men. However, there are people who are of the opinion that when men run for office, the vacant seats which emerge are occupied by women, and this ensures that they still have power. This may be true, but the fact is that women are not interested in running for political and power positions. According to (Cruz 424), if women do not adopt a strategy of helping one another, they will not succeed in politics.

Further research should be carried out on the topic to unmask the reasons behind this lack of interest. Works Cited. Cohen Cathy & Jones Kathy. (1997). Women transforming politics: An alternative reader. New York: New York University Press, p220-240. Cruz, Takash P. 1993. Breaking Barriers to Representation: Chicana/Latina Elected Officials in California. Journal of Urban Anthropology, p 420-430. Lawless, J. L. & Fox, R. L. (2005). It takes a candidate: Why women don’t run for office. New York: Cambridge Press, p1-13.


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