Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor of WGSS and Political Science
Broadly speaking, my principle research interest is the impact of women, gender, and feminism in American politics. Most of my research has focused on either representation in state legislatures or political identity in the mass public. For example, in Representing Women: Sex, Gender, and Legislative Behavior in Arizona and California, I test, and often challenge, widespread assumptions that women in public office will "make a difference" for women, as women. In "Exploring the Determinants of Feminist Consciousness in the U.S.," I challenge widespread assumptions (again) that feminism -- for women at least -- arises (in any simple, straightforward fashion) from personal experience with "non-traditional" lifestyles. Currently, I am embarking on a collaborative project on the impact of diversity - especially in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity - in the American state legislatures. Drawing upon feminist theories of intersectionality, my co-authors and I will be exploring how the presence and behavior of "minority" legislators affect policy processes and outcomes across various state political cultures and institutions. We are particularly interested in how the politics of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality interact over time and within particular socio-political contexts.
Beth Reingold and Adrienne R. Smith. (forthcoming) "Welfare Policymaking and Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in U.S. State Legislatures." American Journal of Political Science (accepted for publication, July 2011; pre-published online, December 2011 at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291540-5907/earlyview )