Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest by Dara Z. Strolovitch

By Dara Z. Strolovitch

The usa boasts ratings of organisations that provide an important illustration for teams which are marginalized in nationwide politics, from ladies to racial minorities to the negative. the following, within the first systematic research of those companies, Dara Z. Strolovitch explores the demanding situations and possibilities they face within the new millennium, as waning felony discrimination coincides with expanding political and monetary inequalities within the populations they symbolize. Drawing on wealthy new facts from a survey of 286 firms and interviews with 40 officers, Strolovitch unearths that groups too usually prioritize the pursuits in their so much advantaged contributors: male instead of woman racial minorities, for instance, or prosperous instead of terrible girls. yet Strolovitch additionally unearths that many enterprises attempt to therapy this inequity, and she or he concludes by way of distilling their most sensible practices right into a set of ideas that she calls affirmative advocacy—a type of illustration that goals to beat the entrenched yet usually sophisticated biases opposed to humans on the intersection of multiple marginalized team. Intelligently combining political concept with refined empirical tools, Affirmative Advocacy might be required examining for college kids and students of yankee politics.

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In a similar vein, Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward (1977) argue that permanent and professionalized organizations inhibit protest, mass defiance, militancy, and radical dissent, all of which, they argue, are responsible for the gains made by movements. 6 According to both Michels and Piven and Cloward, then, the clear consequence of the proliferation of advocacy organizations is decreased movement efficacy and an abandonment of issues affecting disadvantaged groups. 20 · chapter two socioeconomic biases in political participation Levels of advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged subgroups are also likely to be low because of the socioeconomic biases associated with political and organizational activity in the United States.

E. 1 Through the process that Schattschneider termed the “mobilization of bias,” the concerns of weak groups were “organized out” of politics by elites who manipulated the agenda toward their own interests. As a consequence, he asserted, the interests of weak groups were not merely opposed but were actually excluded from the political agenda. ” He estimated that approximately 90 percent of the population could not access what he called “the pressure system,” the informal but extensive system of organizations mobilized to influence national politics (Schattschneider [1960] 1975, 35; see also Michels 1911; Mills 1956; Lindblom 1963; Lowi 1969).

Even if we accept the classification scheme that I have proposed, the fact that I limit the intersections that I examine to two axes (for example, the intersection of race and gender, or the intersection of class and sexuality) in spite of the myriad possible points of intersection raises questions about whether I am focusing on certain manifestations of intersectional disadvantage at the expense of others. Does this classification scheme leave out, for example, important questions about representing women who are low-income and also have a disability, or low-income gays and lesbians of color?

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