Higher Education

Women and Politics: The Pursuit of Equality, 3rd Edition

  • Lynne E. Ford College of Charleston
  • ISBN-10: 0495802662  |  ISBN-13: 9780495802662
  • 496 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2006, 2002
  • © 2011 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $104.25
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WOMEN AND POLITICS examines the pursuit of gender equality from two viewpoints: the legal equality doctrine, which emphasizes gender neutrality, and the fairness doctrine, which recognizes differences between men and women. The text’s in-depth analysis and clear presentation of theory and history helps students to think critically about gender and about the challenges faced by women today and in the past. Extensive coverage of diversity among women and consistent attention to the intersections of race, class, and gender are integral to the text’s two-viewpoints theme.

Features and Benefits

  • Current statistics on women candidates and office holders; recent policy changes; Supreme Court rulings and state laws that impact women’s lives; and an examination of the ways the climate for women in politics has changed as a result of September 11 and the focus on terror, foreign policy, and the military.
  • Chapter 5 - "Women as Political Actors" - is a unique consideration of women as both "insiders" and "outsiders" in the political process.
  • Policy chapters examine education, economics, and fertility and family issues in regard to the text’s main theme of gender equality.
  • Controversies of Equality boxes promote critical thinking and discussion of key issues, cases, and controversies relating to gender equality.

Table of Contents

1. Two Paths to Equality.
2 All Rights Are Not Equal: Suffrage Versus the Equal Rights Amendment.
3. Suffrage Accomplished: Women As Political Participants.
4. Women Seeking Office: The Next Phase of Political Integration.
5. Women as Political Actors: Representation and Advocacy.
6. Education and the Pursuit of Equality.
7. Women and Work: In Pursuit of Economic Equality.
8. The Politics of Family and fertility: the Last Battleground in the Pursuit of Equality?
9. Setting the Agenda and Taking Action: New Challenges in the Pursuit of Equality.

What's New

  • The entire text has been updated to reflect the newest scholarship on women and politics as well as the changing dynamics of politics and policy under the Obama administration.
  • The national campaigns of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin are featured along with analysis of women’s steady advancement in winning elective office at all levels of government. Gender bias in the media during the 2008 campaign is critically examined.
  • Extensive coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign and election is integrated within each chapter.
  • A new feature called "Point of Comparison" contrasts women in the United States and elsewhere.
  • Perennial employment issues such as the wage gap and the prospects for improved family leave, childcare, and paid sick leave policy are examined in light of the deepening economic recession of 2009.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"One of the reasons that I chose this book is these themes (...the legal equity doctrine and the fairness doctrine) – helps students realize that there are multiple perspectives that one can take, and that the perspectives provide very different outcomes. I believe that the theme is consistently carried throughout the book and that it raises the level of the book."Ruth Ann Watry, Northern Michigan University

— Ruth Ann Watry

"This theme is what drew me to the book and what I find to be the book’s strongest contribution to the study of women in politics." Marit Berntson, Roanoke College

— Marit Berntson

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Lynne E. Ford

Lynne E. Ford is Associate Provost for Curriculum and Academic Administration and professor of political science at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She received her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in government and political behavior from the University of Maryland-College Park. Ford's teaching and research interests include women and politics, elections and voting behavior, political psychology, and civic engagement. She has written articles on women in state legislatures, the under-representation of women in political office in the American South, and work-family policy in the United States. She also has co-authored Declarations of Independence: Women and Political Power in 19th Century American Novels; Thinking About Public Policy; Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind; and American Government and Politics Today.