Symbolic Representation

Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

in Political Power and Women’s Representation in Latin America

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731954
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866571 | DOI:
Symbolic Representation

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This chapter returns to a large, cross-national study of Latin American countries to examine whether the use of proportional electoral rules and gender quotas (formal representation), having more women in legislatures (descriptive representation), and passing women-friendly policies (substantive representation) evokes greater support for government in the electorate (symbolic representation). It presents a statistical analysis using Americas Barometer (LAPOP) survey data and shows that all three forms of representation affect both men’s and women’s democratic satisfaction, perceptions of corruption, trust in legislation, and trust in government, though to varying degrees. Countries with greater formal, descriptive, and substantive representation of women also have higher levels of support for representative democracy.

Keywords: women; formal representation; descriptive representation; substantive representation; symbolic representation; Latin America; democratic satisfaction; trust; corruption

Chapter.  11445 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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