Present but Not Accounted For? Gender Differences in Civic Resource Acquisition
Work data:ISSN: 1540-5907
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:Gender | Participation | Politics and Political Science
We investigate the sources of an important form of social inequality: the social processes by which men and women acquire participatory resources in organizations. In particular, we investigate the extent to which men and women acquire civic skills and are targets for political recruitmentwithin churches. Integrating theory about social interactionwithin an organizational structure, we hypothesize that the ways in which women gain politically relevant resources from the church are simply different from those of men. Three factors explain the institutional treatment of women in churches: (1) women’s political contributions are devalued; (2) women respond to social cues more than men do; (3) women respond to political cues from clergy—especially female clergy—whereas men do not. Our findings of gender differences in civic resource acquisition provide a more nuanced treatment of the mobilization process and have broad implications for the relationship between political difference and participatory democracy.