Date of Award

5-4-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Amy Steigerwalt

Second Advisor

Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey

Third Advisor

Sarah Gershon

Abstract

As the number of Black women have increased in the legal field over the past few decades, we are not seeing a corresponding increase in the number of Black women judges at either the state or federal levels. In this dissertation, I examine the impact of race and gender on judicial ambition for state judicial elections in Georgia. I perform several probit analyses on a random sample of 317 potential female judicial candidates. I find evidence that potential Black female judicial candidates are indeed different than potential non-Black female judicial candidates. In particular, I find that childhood socialization messages about independence and Black sorority membership impact potential Black female judicial candidates’ ambition differently than potential non-Black female judicial candidates. Potential Black female judicial candidates who receive childhood socialization messages about financial independence and pursuing a career outside of the home have higher ambition than other potential candidates. I also find that potential Black female judicial candidates who receive childhood messages about marriage and having children are not more or less likely to express ambition than potential Black female judicial candidates who do not receive such messages. Additionally, potential female judicial candidates who are members of Black sororities have higher ambition than other potential judicial candidates. This research advances our understanding of how race and gender interact in potential candidates’ expression of judicial ambition.

File Upload Confirmation

1

Available for download on Thursday, April 27, 2023

Share

COinS