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Advocacy in Hard Times: Representing Marginalized Groups in Times of National Crisis: A presentation by Dara Strolovitch

Dara Strolovitch is an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Some of her recent work includes Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest Group Politics (2007), “New Orleans is not the Exception: Re-politicizing the Study of Racial Inequality” (with Paul Frymer and Dorian Warren, 2006), and “Measuring Gay Population Density and the Incidence of Anti-Gay Hate Crime” (with Donald P. Green, Robert Bailey, and Janelle S. Wong, 2001).

“Affirmative Advocacy in Hard Times” is part of a larger project examining the effects of crises on the agendas, strategies, and efficacy of organizations representing marginalized groups in U.S. politics. Combining data from a survey of advocacy organizations with information from interviews, government documents, and print media and placing the current crises in historical perspective, I argue that whether organizations are constrained or enabled by crises hinges on their ability to frame their claims as extending rights to “worthy” groups who need fuller citizenship in order to serve national interests. Because making such claims is often more difficult for intersectionally marginalized groups, these analyses illuminate intersections among and differences between the ways in which race, class, and gender structure and are constructed by one another and by American political processes and institutions.

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