Gender & Politics

Smith's work centers elements of critical race theory as well as intersectionality. Noting that the life chances of Black women and women of color are influenced by racism, sexism, and classism, Smith makes an effort to highlight the compounding and interwoven effects of living in the margins, and sometimes in the margins of the margins. While most of Smith's work notes these ideas, below are prominent examples of how this perspective influences her research. 

"The Presence and Purpose of Black Women at the Women's March on Washington"

"Get in Formation: The Presence and Purpose of Black Women at the Women's March on Washington" with Tehama Lopez Bunyasi. The Black Scholar, 43(3), 2018.

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election caused great distress on the political left. In the election’s aftermath, politicians, political pundits, and political scientists all began an autopsy of the Democratic party’s coalition in efforts to uncover the various reasons why Trump upset the expected win of Hillary Clinton despite (or perhaps, because of) the candidate’s racist, sexist, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic campaign rhetoric and policy promises. With ninety-four percent of Black women’s vote going to Hillary Clinton—a voting bloc unrivaled by any other racialized gender for any candidate—one can confidently argue that Trump’s platform offered very little, if anything at all, to those people most squarely situated at the crosshairs of racism and sexism.Why did Black women attend the Women’s March on Washington after all? What were their goals? What role do Black women play in enhancing democracy? Asking Black women participants of the Women’s March on Washington why they decided to descend upon the nation’s capital one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration offers scholars of politics, race, and gender particular insight into the concerns, aspirations, and communal orientations of those Americans most likely to be treated as electoral monoliths, and uncritical partisan loyalists. 

“Linked Fate

at the Intersection of Race, Gender and Ethnicity” 

“Linked Fate at the Intersection of Race, Gender and Ethnicity” with Jurée Capers in Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics. Ed. Nadia Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon. New York: Routledge. 2016.

Smith and Capers ask a series of questions whose answers will help us to gain a better understanding of the extent to which and the circumstances under which racial group consciousness will continue to affect and homogenize Black political attitudes and behaviors: Considering that “Black” is not only a racial category, but also a pan-ethnic group, do African Americans and Black immigrants have similar levels of group consciousness? Considering the fact that racialized experiences and immigration are often gendered, is there gender gap in racial group consciousness? Does group consciousness have a similar effect for Blacks across ethnic lines, gender and policy domains? Does a non-American ethnicity preclude a sense of group consciousness? Considering that policies like the death penalty are racialized and/or gendered, should we expect Black women and men to respond to these kinds of policies in similar ways? Should we expect Black people to respond similarly across ethnic groups?

Check out Professor Smith's CV for more Gender and Politics research. 

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© C.W.Smith

Updated September 2019