From Women of the Year to “Soccer Moms”: The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the 1992 U.S. election year, mainstream print and television news coverage was replete with hosannas for female politicians, praised as strong and politically powerful figures during this so-called ''Year of the Woman.'' Just 4 years later, 1996 election news reports relied upon a very different image to describe women vis-à-vis electoral politics: “soccer moms.” “Soccer mom” was the term used most recurrently in mainstream television and print media to refer to an aggregate of women, vis-à-vis electoral politics, who were described as crucial to the success of either presidential candidate: President Clinton or Robert Dole. This period of time represents a dramatic shift in news discourse: from discussing women as political power wielders (Women of the Year) to discussing women as a group of swing voters defined primarily by their filial obligations. This article considers some possible implications of this shift and argues that it represents a discursive connection between women voters — reduced to a demographic category characterized by women’s relationships to their children — and an ideology of consumerism that reduces electoral politics to personal choices around product consumption and “lifestyle.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-213
Number of pages21
JournalPolitical Communication
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

Keywords

  • Political women
  • Soccer moms
  • Swing voters
  • Year of the Woman

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'From Women of the Year to “Soccer Moms”: The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this