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TWICEASGOOD project (Twice as Hard, Half as Good? Women Candidates' Experience of Sexism on the Campaign Trail, Politics - PhD (ERC Funded)

University of Exeter - College of Social Sciences and International Studies

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Exeter
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,609
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th December 2021
Closes: 7th February 2022
Reference: 4401

We are pleased to offer an opportunity for a fully funded PhD position to join the TWICEASGOOD project (Twice as Hard, Half as Good? Women Candidates’ Experience of Sexism on the Campaign Trail, an ERC Advanced grant funded by the European Research Council (101019284).

The successful applicant will develop their own PhD project related to the themes of the project, with the support of a supervisor. The PhD researcher will also support research to meet the overall objectives of the project including contributing to data collection and jointly authored research outputs.

We are an international, multi-disciplinary team led by Professor Susan Banducci (Exeter) and working with Royal Holloway, University of London, Koç University [Turkey], University of Amsterdam & the Spanish National Research Council (Madrid)

Project Description

TWICEASGOOD, a five-year programme of research, aims to better understand how encounters of “everyday sexism” on the campaign trail, both online and offline and in the media, shape women’s campaign efforts and chances at electoral success. How does sexism affect women’s pathway to political office? Scholars have claimed that voter sexism is over because women candidates win elections at the same rate as men. However, the emergence of a gender equality backlash, misogynistic social media campaigns and the continued under-representation of women in political office globally, indicate a need to re-examine whether sexism acts as a barrier to women’s representation.

For the proposed programme of research in TWICEASGOOD, we reconceptualize the “gender penalty” faced by women candidates to take into account the sexism, threats of violence that they face online, through social media, in the traditional media and in face-to-face encounters. We aim to understand the extent of these types of sexism as well as the ways in which women candidates anticipate and counter them, by being “twice as good”, in order to achieve electoral success. To better understand how encounters of “everyday sexism” on the campaign trail, both online and offline and in the media, shape women’s campaign efforts and chances at electoral success, we will undertake a programme of research that captures candidate experiences of sexism and assesses their impact on electoral outcomes. To capture how sexism is experienced “everyday” on the campaign trail, we bring together participant-observation of candidates on the campaign trail in four countries with quantitative media analysis, candidate surveys and a battery of items administered in Round 11 of the European Social Survey to create a cross-national sexism index.

We are recruiting a researcher to undertake a PhD as part of the project. The successful applicant will develop their own piece of research and contribute to the aims of objectives of the programme of research. We are seeking candidates who wish to develop expertise in ethnographic, survey research, computational methods and/or advanced quantitative methods and whose substantive interests are in gender studies, media, politics, and society. 

We are open to and encourage applications from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds -- political science, anthropology, sociology or other related social science disciplines. The PhD researcher would complement the expertise and language skills of the other researchers on the team, share expertise and explore new methods in collaborating with researchers from diverse backgrounds. We are particularly keen to build a team with language skills in Spanish, Dutch and Turkish.

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