Are We There Yet? Addressing Diversity in Political Science Subfields

Are We There Yet? Addressing Diversity in Political Science Subfields

by Rebecca A. Reid, University of Texas at El Paso and Todd A. Curry, University of Texas at El Paso

If we want to address political science’s deficiencies regarding diversity, each subfield must examine the intersectionality of its membership. Currently, the APSA dashboard supplies data in aggregate only, which glosses over intersectional groups such as women as color. To remedy this, we administered a survey to the Law and Courts membership to identify the basic demographics of the section. We encourage all subfields to undertake similar steps, as it allows each section to target efforts of recruitment and retention to their most under-represented members, specifically women of color, as these and other intersectional groups experience compounded inequalities and disenfranchisement within academia. We know that faculty of color are less likely to achieve tenure, experience salary disparities, have less job satisfaction, and experience hostile climates in research and teaching. One of the largest hurdles to recruiting individuals with intersectional identities is the current deficit. In short, without such acknowledgement, evaluation, discussion, and deliberate reform, the damning response to why there is no diversity in academia will be truly because we do not want it.

Read the full article.

PS: Political Science & Politics / First View/ pp. 1-5

1 Comment

  1. And here I always thought one of the key components of intersectionality, as well as diversity, was CLASS. As this article notes, APSA collects demographic data on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation of its members. It implicitly, however, argues the first step to moving forward is to see where race/sexuality/gender overlap. In other words, it continues the status quo project of completely erasing class background from any discussion of diversity in higher education generally or Political Science specifically.

    There is a compelling argument to be made that populating academia with more children of doctors, lawyers, and professors, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, or sexuality, does little in the way of actually diversifying things. And a strong argument that increasing the participation of low-income/first-generation college students in graduate study is desperately needed. But APSA has no policies to address this vital form of diversity, which is telling. Even more telling is the fact that this issue is completely lacking in discussions by the APSA members most committed to increasing diversity in the discipline. This article is just the latest example of this sorry state of affairs.

    Any call to address the intersectionality of the membership of APSA that continues to erase the existence of low-income/first-generation college students from the conversation (and the discipline) is grossly incomplete at best and blatantly disingenuous at worst.

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