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    By: Nadia E. Brown

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    "Theories of descriptive representation that keep identity constant over time and context fail to account for the substantive work of minority women legislators. Sisters in the Statehouse addresses this gap in the literature by utilizing humanistic inquiry to examine the connection between descriptive and substantive representation in the case of Black women legislators. This link hinges on how such legislators see the effects of their own race-gender identity on their legislative work. By combining humanistic and social science techniques, such as feminist life histories, elite interviews, and participant observation in conjunction with legislative case studies as well as bill sponsorship data, I present a fuller description of how identity informs Black women state legislators' descriptive and substantive representation. Linking personal narratives to political behavior, my study elicits the feminist life histories of African American women legislators to understand how their experiences with racism and sexism have influenced their legislative decision-making and policy preferences. I reveal several distinctions that inform the legislative work of these legislators to provide a broader perspective that exemplifies how an intersectional approach can enhance our understanding of political representation"--

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