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GEPOP Seminar: Elias Markstedt - "Political knowledge and adult gender socialization: A critical review"

Research

Very welcome to Tuesday’s 50% seminar. Elias Markstedt (PhD, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg) will present his work "Media systems and the gender gap in political knowledge".

Seminar
Date
17 Nov 2020
Time
13:15 - 14:30
Location
Zoom Video Communications

Participants
Elias Markstedt

Abstract

That women on average know less about politics than men is a robust finding over time and between countries. So far, however, the role of the media in creating this gap has been understudied. I lift forward previously disregarded links between societies’ media environment and the aggregate gender gap in political knowledge. We should consider how the opportunity structures created under different media regimes have different implications for women and men. Women’s gender-specific roles as caregivers and men’s higher political interest are hypothesized to affect their opportunities and possibilities to take in information about current events. Furthermore, men generally have more resources (financially, and timewise) to make use of in the media environment. I employ a comprehensive set of political knowledge estimates from CSES and ESS. This results in a dataset of 1,213 knowledge estimates from respondents in 56 countries. I compare two operationalizations based on expert coding of both V-Dem and the European Media Systems Survey (EMSS). My results indicate that a greater level of information quality has a seemingly counterintuitive effect that gaps are strengthened. While this has been shown in communication studies on knowledge differences between socio-economic groups on a range of different subjects, it is not what is typically emphasized in the political science literature, which has mostly been concerned with socialization mechanisms such as the level of descriptive representation when women are voting for their first time. This article demonstrates that we need to take other macro-level indicators into account when understanding how gender gaps emerge and develop.