From Obama to Abbott


Johnson, Carol. 2013. “From Obama to Abbott.” Australian Feminist Studies 28 (75): 14-29. 

Author: Carol Johnson


This article analyses how politicians' use of emotion is gendered. Key Australian, US and UK politicians studied include Obama, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Cameron, Rudd, Abbott and Gillard. Emotions analysed range from fear to compassion. A particular focus is placed on issues of masculinity; however, the implications for constructions of both femininity and masculinity will be considered, including arguments that female politicians face particular problems in utilising emotion, for example, in projecting an image of being both tough and compassionate. It will be argued that it is not just that politicians' use of emotion intersects with issues of gender but that particular gendered identities are a key vehicle via which emotion is deployed. Consequently, the analysis contributes new insights to both the literature on the politics of emotion and the literature on masculinity and gender. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America, Oceania Countries: Australia, United States of America

Year: 2013

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