Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The trajectory of women’s citizenship over the past two centuries reflects the changing political and cultural landscape at various moments in American history as well as a more constant liberal tradition. Women have made clear gains since the nation’s founding, though the rights granted to women came later than those granted to other groups and women continue to face barriers to political inclusion. Two key factors are women’s social construction as maternalists who are associated with the family, which liberal precepts define as separate and different from the state; and the incompatibility of women’s social construction as maternalists with the liberal American heritage that presumes individuals are equal. To promote their political citizenship, women had to transform the identity of the American state to be an institution similar to, not opposite to, the family, and they had to transform the identity of women so that the public and political elites viewed women not only as maternalists but also legally and constitutionally as individuals who were equal to men. To understand the trajectory of women’s political citizenship requires understanding how it is integrated with their social and civil citizenship as well as how that trajectory intersects with partisan disparities in women’s representation through the policies and platforms parties adopt over the course of American political development.

Keywords: gender, political citizenship, maternalism, liberal tradition, American political development

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.