Working in the District

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:
Working in the District

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Much of a representative’s job centers on policy and takes place inside congress, but representatives also participate in activities in their electoral district that emphasize securing support for their political future, often referred to as a legislator’s “home style.” Using data from the survey of legislators, this chapter examines the amount of time that male and female legislators spend in their district (allocation of resources), their constituency service (presentation of self), and frequency with which they seek publicity of that work by making public presentations or speaking with the media (explaining activity). In Argentina, Colombia, and Costa Rica, female legislators do these activities more often than do male legislators when they relate specifically to female constituents or women’s groups. Gender has little effect on other forms of home style, however. Women are substantively representing women, and at the same time, are not being marginalized in their home-style behavior.

Keywords: women; substantive representation; home style; Argentina; Colombia; Costa Rica; district; constituency service; media

Chapter.  9481 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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