American Sociological Association

Race, Ethnicity, Sexuality, and Women’s Political Consciousness of Gender

Existing research emphasizes the importance of group identification and perceived similarity in the development of group consciousness. Intersectionality suggests that for many women, a political consciousness of gender may also stem from experiences with race, ethnicity, and sexuality and may be interconnected with a consciousness of other forms of inequality. This study analyzes data from a recent national survey to investigate how race, ethnicity, and sexuality intersect with women’s gendered political consciousness. Analyses reveal no support for the proposition that membership in racial, sexual, and ethnic minority groups significantly reduces women’s gendered political consciousness. In addition, women who perceive high levels of racial, ethnic, or sexuality-based discrimination are more likely than other women to hold a strong political consciousness of gender. Results challenge the idea that gendered political consciousness emerges primarily from perceived similarity and highlight the need to conceptualize gendered political consciousness within the context of multiple inequalities.


Catherine E. Harnois





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