Lawless, Jennifer L. and Fox Richard L. (2010). It still takes a candidate: why women don't run for office.
He author is concerned by the issue that women are definitely underrepresented in the political environment despite of the contemporary advancement of women in politics. According to the survey that was conducted, there are only 17% and 24% women in the US Senate and state legislatures correspondingly. The research aimed to answer the following questions: why the process of integration of women into political force is slow and why there is a lack of female candidates striving for political career? The study filled the gap in the scholar literature related gender issues in political leadership. Previously, little attention was paid by the scholars to the gender-related differences in the process of decision making to run for political office.
The methods of quantitative research are supplemented by the qualitative research to obtain complete information regarding the research topic. However, some respondents express the same ideas that are repeated.
The approach used by the authors is missing objectivity regarding the balance in representation of working-class and upper-middleclass. The choice of political activists participated in the survey could be more careful because the goal was to examine if those considered for running a political office represent the interests of electorate. The choice of political activists does not include union leaders meaning that the interests of middle-class are not represented in the research. The authors considered persons having certain qualifications, namely successful career or higher education that also constitutes class bias.
A special impression was made by the chapter Gender, Party, and Political Recruitment where the authors examined the influence of political attitudes and recruitment controlled by attendance of political meetings or servicing on a board of organizations. Also, Lawless and Fox gave an insight on segregation of duties in a family and self-analysis of qualifications applying relevant psychological theories in the related chapters.
Despite of bias towards participation of women in political activity, there are significant improvements in attitude to women who made a decision to run for political office. Examination of public opinion revealed that the public is not biased against women to be considered for political posts.
Besides, the authors did not distinguish between social and structural factors. However, these factors limit the number of women aiming to run for political office thus assuming in advance what they were going to prove. In addition, Lawless and Fox did not make an attempt to evaluate relative importance of political ambition towards limitations in representation of women in political offices.
The book does not seem to reflect political ambitions of women because of narrow perspective represented by the authors. In addition, Lawless and Fox failed to evaluate the limitations of their research. The findings of the research should be placed in the larger social context.
Lawless, J. L. and Fox, R.L. (2010). It still takes a candidate: why women don't run for office. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Wright, E.O., Baxter, J. and Birkelund, G.E. (1995). The gender gap in workplace authority: a cross-national study. American Sociological Review, 60, 407-435.