*Direct correspondence to Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, Department of Political Studies, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd., Wenham, MA 01984 〈email@example.com〉. I thank Beth A. Reingold, Robert A. Pastor, Carrie Rosefsky Wickham, Dennis Hoover, Raquel Posz, Patricia Franco Maas, and anonymous reviewers for their helpful contributions and feedback. I am also grateful to the various institutions that supported this research: the Organization of American States, Emory University's Fund for Internationalization, the Pew-Funded Civitas Research Fellowship at the Brookings Institution, and the National Science Foundation (Grant SES-0112077). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Data and coding information available on request.
Gendered Pathways to the Political: The Political Participation of Women Factory Workers in Mexico*
Version of Record online: 1 MAY 2008
© 2008 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 89, Issue 2, pages 351–371, June 2008
How to Cite
Melkonian-Hoover, R. (2008), Gendered Pathways to the Political: The Political Participation of Women Factory Workers in Mexico. Social Science Quarterly, 89: 351–371. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2008.00536.x
- Issue online: 1 MAY 2008
- Version of Record online: 1 MAY 2008
Objectives. The objective of this article is to analyze the mobilization factors available within and without international factories that do and do not contribute to political participation of employees, hypothesizing that the quantity, type, and causal linkages will vary by gender.
Methods. Using original survey data of factory employees (N=402) in multiple sectors and regions in Mexico, I test common explanations as to how the factory experience stimulates and stifles the political participation of women employees, exploring whether the causal linkages between the workplace and political engagement are the same for women and men.
Results. Contrary to some of the recent research that reveals men to be more politically engaged than women in the Mexican population overall, my data show that among factory workers there is rough parity between men's and women's levels of political engagement. A distinction of note, controlling for other variables, female employees are more likely than male employees to engage in informal political activities.
Conclusion. The international factory experience appears to have a limited “egalitarian” effect. The distribution of factors leading to political mobilization for women and men is not equal, yet women are able to translate a distinct set of factors into participation.