Nicholas Valentino

Mobilizing Sexism: Emotion, Gender Attitudes and Mass Electoral Behavior in the Era of Trump

3:30pm - 5:00pm / Thursday 5th November 2020
Type: Webinar / Category: Department
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Abstract: The outcome of the 2016 election surprised many, and for many reasons. One of the biggest surprises was that the first female candidate at the top of a major party ticket could not inspire more support from women. The gender gap in support for Clinton versus Trump, by most estimates, was no larger than many recent races between two men. We find sexist attitudes were more powerful in 2016 than in any election prior for which we have measurement of that dimension. In addition to their support for Trump, those with hostile gender attitudes also were highly mobilized by the anger, and not the anxiety, they were feeling toward changes in the social hierarchy and demands being made by feminists. These dynamics shifted considerably in 2018 and 2020. We now observe powerful anger on the left, especially among women, and a yawning gender gap that places Trump’s reelection chances in dire jeopardy. In this book, we propose and test a theory of group mobilization rooted in the generation of moral outrage. Studies suggest that women, while rarely unified politically, are reacting quite negatively to several aspects of Trump’s governing style and campaign message.

Bio: Nicholas A. Valentino is Professor of Political Science and Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. He served as President of the International Society for Political Psychology from 2019-2020. Valentino specializes in political psychological approaches to understanding public opinion formation, socialization, information seeking and electoral participation. His work employs experimental methods, surveys, and content analyses of political communication. The research has focused on the intersecting roles of racial attitudes and emotional dynamics, and has been published in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, and Public Opinion Quarterly. Valentino is currently exploring the changing nature of racial rhetoric in America and around the world, and the ways empathy for outgroups can blunt dangerous overreactions to threats from globalization and multiculturalism.


For further information or for receiving the Zoom meeting details please contact Dr Luca Bernardi (Luca.Bernardi@liverpool.ac.uk)