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Perceptions of women as political leaders at a time of crisis: A psychosocial study.

Tatum, A., Thompson, S. and Yates, C., 2022. Perceptions of women as political leaders at a time of crisis: A psychosocial study. Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 15 (3), 148-166.

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DOI: 10.1332/147867321X16655147641339


Women in political leadership have been the topic of much discussion since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of women in executive office being praised for their empathic approach. The pandemic has raised questions about the role of women in political leadership at a time of crisis and the drivers behind the feelings they evoke. Drawing on online focus groups with participants mainly from the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 national lockdowns, this article explores the feelings and affective responses evoked from seeing women in political leadership roles at a time of crisis. The focus groups highlighted the conflict that participants felt at seeing female political leaders navigating crisis situations, with expected displays of empathy at the forefront of discussions. The findings also suggest that, in order to be trusted, female political leaders must still overcome gendered expectations about their authority and warmth. The participants felt conflicted when evaluating the leadership styles of women in politics and grappled with notions of trust and authenticity. The article provides new psychosocial insights into the way we think and feel about female political leaders and highlights the complex gendered terrain that women in political leadership have to navigate.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:female political leaders; psychosocial; trust; empathy; Covid 19; reflective focus groups
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:37752
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:22 Nov 2022 16:04
Last Modified:16 Nov 2023 01:08


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