Sarah Palin Versus the World: An Examination of Gender Disparities in Politics

Calle Erich, Andrew Farias, Soren DeHaan, Ephraim Benson, Sarah Alice Jones, Scott Schafer

How does gender influence the ways in which the media represents and portrays politicians?

To answer this question, we content analyzed news broadcasts from the 2004 and 2008 Carleton College Election Study and interviewed a member of the Northfield City Council to get a better understanding of gender dynamics in local politics.

We found that gender did not become a salient issue in media coverage until the 2008 election, in which Sarah Palin made her Vice Presidential appearance.

These podcasts show the differences in media coverage of John Edwards and Sarah Palin and also present a first-hand account of the ways candidates and office holders may need to present themselves to conform to or combat their constituents’ or colleagues’ gender expectations.

Podcast 1

Podcast 2