Latinas in American Politics: Changing and Embracing Political Tradition

Leslie A. Navarro (Editor) Sharon A. Navarro (Editor)
& 2 more


The challenges that women face as political candidates can be compounded by race. In the case of Latinas, stereotypes as well as national media coverage and labeling of "Latino" issues potentially creates an electoral burden for Latina candidates at the local, state, and national level. The intersection of race and gender is complicated and often creates more questions than it answers. How are Latinas elected? Are they served by this complex identity or hindered by it? Latinas in American Politics: Embracing and Changing Political Tradition begins addressing the issues by examining the stereotypes Latinas face while running for political office. More specifically, the perception of voters on ideological standings of Latinas provides insight as to what party Latinas are identified with and how they can use this to their advantage. In addition to establishing the role stereotypes play in the electability of Latinas, the way they use and diffuse these stereotypes via campaigns is examined. The images that Latinas present and how they interact with voters via social media establishes a new dynamic in campaigning and allows for theory building in the area of race, gender, and campaigns. Aside from campaigning, party identification for a Latina creates a different barrier. How do Latinas bridge this? Case studies of prominent Latina officials are examined to understand within which contexts and under what conditions Latinas as candidates and as elected officials will experience intersectionality as advantage and disadvantage. Finally, the examination of Latina congressional members shows whether and how the intersection of gender and ethnicity in descriptive representation contributes uniquely to patterns of substantive representation. Ultimately, this volume demonstrates how the intersection of race and gender creates unique situations for representation and electability of candidates.

Product Details

Lexington Books
Publish Date
May 12, 2016
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

Sharon A. Navarro is associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Samantha L. Hernandez is a PhD student in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. Leslie A. Navarro is a strategic advisor for organizations and higher education institutions on accreditation, planning, program development, and organizational culture and a former college president.


With each election, the impact of Latinas in American politics is becoming much more visible and crucial. This timely volume broadens our knowledge of the important role that Latinas have in various avenues of American politics. The volume highlights additional paths of diverse research opportunities for studying Latina politics.--Christina Bejarano, University of Kansas
Latinas in American Politics: Changing and Embracing Political Tradition, edited by Sharon A. Navarro, Samantha L. Hernandez, and Leslie A. Navarro, brings together a talented group of scholars from all ranks to examine the role of Latinas in American politics. This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Latina politics and what I like most about the book is the multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives brought to examine how Latinas are impacting American politics. The book examines Latina electoral involvement at the national level and state level from a variety of vantage points. I especially recommend this volume for courses on Latino politics so that students are exposed to the latest innovative scholarly research incorporating what we know about the role of Latinas in electoral politics.--Jason P. Casellas, University of Houston
Too often the focus of race or gender political research projects has excluded the political experiences of Latina elected officials. This important collection of cutting-edge research by prominent scholars throughout the nation fills this void. Asking a variety of research questions and utilizing mixed methodological approaches, this anthology helps us understand the political behaviors of Latinas at the national and subnational levels becoming a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand the political behavior of women from the largest ethno-racial group in the nation. It is premised on the belief that in a healthy democracy 'all points of view and full ranges of talent must be available for public decision-making.' Further, it underscores how different life experiences matter to the political behaviors and attitudes of Latinas in elected office.--Maria ChΓ‘vez, Pacific Lutheran University