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A Psycho-Political Study of Women’s Responses to Women Political Leaders in the United Kingdom.

Tatum, A., 2022. A Psycho-Political Study of Women’s Responses to Women Political Leaders in the United Kingdom. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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TATUM, Amy Elizabeth_Ph.D._2022.pdf
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This thesis aims to gain insight into the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of women in the UK in response to women in positions of political leadership. Women remain underrepresented in political leadership and their representation requires a critical and in-depth understanding of the existing barriers. Present literature shows gender stereotypes and norms are long standing and highly resistant to change (Kittilson and Fridkin 2008, Heilman 2001, Powell 2011). Women are largely deemed incongruent with leadership; the perception being that they are violating gender norms when they achieve leadership roles (Eagly and Karau 2002). The research addressing women in political leadership has, to date, largely employed quantitative methodologies. This project uses qualitative methods to gain new insights into the feelings and thoughts that shape women’s contemporary attitudes about other women in political leadership roles. Women’s voices have largely been absent from the discussions about women political leaders (WPL) and this thesis will address this absence by deploying a psycho-political approach that uses in-depth, life story interviews, focusing on narrative story telling (Anderson and Jack 1991). The research pays attention to what and how stories are expressed and how fantasies of leadership may present themselves in relation to the life histories of the participants. From a psychosocial perspective, subjectivities are shaped by the interaction of psychological, social, and political factors, and with that complexity in mind, the project takes an intersectional approach that includes women across a broad range of cultural, racial, and social backgrounds in order to understand women’s differing responses and how they are informed by their socio-political and cultural experience and identities. This thesis provides new contributions to knowledge as the first known qualitative research on this topic in the UK, drawing on a methodology that examines women’s’ own experiences of gender. Themes of empathy are discussed, both for the women leaders but also responses to the display of empathetic leadership. New concepts of women’s leadership are formulated, drawing on the insights from the participants into how they wish to see women leading. The thesis also examines the drivers behind the responses, exploring constructions of gender from the childhoods of the participants and from their experiences of gender in their lives, families, and workplaces. The thesis examines how women feel about women’s representation in political leadership and provides insights into potential campaign strategies and leadership styles to help furthering women’s role in politics.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:political leadership; gender;stereotypes; representation; narrative; political psychology
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:36808
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:01 Apr 2022 08:52
Last Modified:01 Apr 2022 08:52


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