Date of Completion
Second Academic Major
Dr. James L. Huff
Dr. M. Laurie Norton Diles
As political science tends to focus on polling and statistical analysis to examine individuals’ voting behaviors, the reasoning behind constituents’ decision-making process is often left in the dark. This is particularly true in first-time voting women who come from religious backgrounds that uphold complementarian gender values. This study focuses on the following research questions: How do women experience their political identity in relation to their gender identity? How do women experience their political identity in relation to their religious or faith identity? How do women experience their political identity in relation to voting for the first time? I answer these questions using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) on interviews with first-time voting Christian women (n = 4) from the south, two of whom voted for Donald Trump and two of whom voted for Joseph Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Through in-depth IPA analysis of descriptive, linguistic, and conceptual elements as well as individual and cross-case analysis, I found the following themes: establishing political identity through social identifications, maintaining both agency and communion in political identity in relation to family, and struggling between agency and communion in political identity amongst peers. My findings provide a framework for the psychological experiences and commonality that provide contextual depth of framing how first-time voting Christian women examine and experience their identities amid political participation.
Golden, Mary Grace, "Unpacking Political Identity in First-Time Voting Christian Women: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis" (2021). Honors Theses. 8.