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Sexism, Gender Backlash and Far-Right Vote Choice

3:30pm - 5:00pm / Thursday 18th November 2021
Type: Seminar / Category: Research
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Title: Sexism, Gender Backlash and Far-Right Vote Choice

Abstract: While gender equality issues play an important role in far-right discourses, attitudes toward gender equality have received remarkably limited consideration in empirical analyses of why people vote for a far-right party. We argue that attitudes such as modern sexism are profoundly connected to far-right parties’ discourses, and consequently, are expected to affect the probability of voting for the far right, both as a predisposition and as an activated motivation. We distinguish backlash activation, in which sexism becomes electorally consequential as a reaction to feminist mobilization, and normalization activation, associated to the visibility of far-right sexist discourses. Using panel data from Spain we show that modern sexism is indeed an important factor in the rise of the far-right party Vox. We further show that the activation of sexism was more related to feminist mobilization than to the normalization of sexist discourses that came with the enhanced visibility of the far right.

Bio: I am professor of political science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where I am also ICREA Academia research fellow. I direct the research group on Democracy, Elections and Citizenship and I have until recently directed also the Master in Political Science.
My main areas of research deal with different aspects of citizens’ involvement in politics in advanced democracies. This includes an interest in the causes and consequences of electoral turnout, political protest, digital media and political attitudes. I am also interested in attitudes towards corruption and in survey and experimental methodology. Recently my research has focused on the attitudinal consequences of the economic crisis, with a special focus on populist attitudes. In my current project I explore how individuals’ attitudes towards gender equality and feminism change along time.

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