09.24.08

Race and Gender in Politics

Posted in Cognitive Science, Education, Jacob Canon, Politics, Social Psychology, The Oscar Show, UVa College of Arts & Sciences, University of Virginia, elections, ethics, history, sociology at 11:04 am by Jacob Canon

In today’s show, we introduce the Moderator and UVa Faculty panel participating in the Race and Gender in Politics Forum being held tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, located at 2201 Old Ivy Road, in Charlottesville, VA.  This event is free to the public.

With the election season upon us, and the diverse nature of the major candidates, Americans are faced with unique challenges when they go to the polls this November 4th.  With the notable exception of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, the major candidates for the office of President of the United States have been white males.  But this election season, both major political parties have offered candidates that begin to explore the multicultural basis of our nation.

 
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Tomorrow evening, September 25th at 7:00PM, the Miller Center of Public Affairs will be hosting the UVa Faculty Round Table on Race and Gender in Politics.   This event is sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Arts & Sciences Magazine will be Moderated by Douglas A Blackmon, the Atlanta bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal.  This forum will discuss many of the issues that face the electorate this season.  The panel will include UVa faculty members, Paul Freedman, Brian Nosek, Lynn Sanders, Vesla Weaver and Nick Winter.

The moderator, Douglas A. Blackmon, has written extensively about the American quandary of race.  Many of his stories in The Wall Street Journal have explored the interplay of wealth, corporate conduct and racial segregation.

Associate Politics Professor Paul Freedman, has written about the negative advertising that is present in American politics, and has come to the conclusion that this type of discourse has positive effects in educating the public concerning issues. Freedman found that voters who saw more campaign advertising were more energized and knowledgeable.

Associate Professor of Psychology Brian Nosek’s interest in politics emerged while he was doing research in implicit cognition, which examines thought and feeling outside of awareness and control. His data suggests that some political choices we make may be influenced by “implicit” feelings toward blacks, women or the aged without us even realizing it.

Associate Politics Professor Lynn Sanders, has found another dynamic at work in the American political system. Sanders research has found there are differences in survey data received depending on the race of the interviewer and interviewee. If they are the same race, prejudices are more likely to be revealed.  She found this evidenced by the differing results in the public vote of caucus states versus the private vote found in primaries states during the recent Democratic campaign.

Assistant Politics Professor Vesla Weaver’s research has detailed the disparities between the outcomes of whites to darker- and lighter-skinned blacks and Hispanics, including lower incomes, high incarceration rates and higher execution rates for the dark-skinned. Her data appears to show that the gradient of skin tone also appears to have an effect, and that this disparity carries over to politics as well.

Assistant Politics Professor Nick Winter’s book, Dangerous Frames explores the ways that political leaders can mobilize our ideas about race and gender in ways we don’t realize; his current project is exploring the ways that ideas about masculinity and femininity shape political discourse and public opinion.

So, as this multicultural dynamic changes the Presidential debate continues across America, you are invited to the Miller Center tomorrow evening, September 25th at 7:00 PM to hear this panel discuss gender and race and how they effect the political landscape.

The Miller Center address is 2201 Old Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA.  For more information or direction to the event please call 434-243-8974 or email Cristina Martinez de Andino at clm6q@virginia.edu.

For those who can’t attend, you can watch the forum online by going to www.millercenter.org and the link will appear on the home page shortly before the panel starts.

You’ve been listening to the Oscar Show, I’m Jacob Canon. Join us next week when we will follow up this show with comments and reflections from the UVa Faculty Roundtable concerning Race and Gender in Politics.

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