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Abstract

Feminist political theory is a sprawling theoretical field that intertwines sociological and philosophical perspectives and applies them to the study of campaigns, policy, voting, and the general structure of what Americans call politics. In Western democratic republics, the concept of participation has been hotly debated, specifically with regard to voting. Applying the critical lens of an intersectional feminist perspective introduces questions about the participation of different genders, races, classes, and cultural groups in political action, voting, and running for office. Before equal representation can be attained (if that is, indeed, desirable), it is important to understand how our politics are constructed. Feminism in the field of political communication is almost as old as the discipline itself. In this paper, the researchers explore a specific mixed-gender race in Texas, using the underlying assumptions of feminist political theory as a lens to examine how the race was rhetorically constructed in the media. By mixing methodologies and multiple analyses, both content-related and critical, these stories of mixed-gender campaigns may illuminate how gender is constructed in political races by the media and elucidate the potential constraints imposed on candidates seeking office.

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