Not a One-Way Street: Exploring the Role of Intersectional Representation on African American Male Students
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Representation is an enduring area of research in Political Science. While there has been an extensive amount of research in the area of minority representation, there is substantially less work considering multiple identities. Using the concept of intersectionality, this dissertation explores the role of multiple identities in representation. I argue that intersectional representation, that is, representation based on multiple identities provides a thorough interpretation of real world phenomena. To test my arguments, I utilize quantitative methods to empirically assess the role of intersectional representation on public policy outcomes. The goal of this dissertation is three-fold. First, I incorporate the concept of intersectionality of race and gender into the public policy and public management literature. Second, I explore intersectionality and representation with gender from a perspective that has not been extensively addressed in the political science literature—namely, a concentration on males, instead of females. Third, I develop a theory of intersectional representation which links to public policy outcomes. In order to test my theory, I explore the role of Black male representation in the bureaucracy and in local political bodies on Black male student outcomes. I find that representation based on both race and gender is associated with both positive and negative public policy outcomes for Black male students. Specifically, in Chapter I, the results indicate that Black male teachers are associated with a decreased presence of Black male students in low tracked courses and upper level honors courses. The following chapter shows that intersectional political representation, that is, Black male school board representation, is also associated with positive outcomes for Black male students. The last empirical chapter indicates that intersectional stability is associated with an increase of Black male students in low track courses. In general, the findings indicate that intersectional representation is consequential for public policy outcomes, both in negative and positive ways. The dissertation challenges the way representation is conceptualized, as to capture the simultaneous effect of both race and gender on public policy outcomes of represented groups.
Walker, Meredith Brooke Loudd (2011). Not a One-Way Street: Exploring the Role of Intersectional Representation on African American Male Students. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from