Catherine Bolzendahl

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine

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About Catherine

Bolzendahl's research focuses on gender as a fundamental basis of inequality and source of societal change. She examines these issues through a variety of substantive topics and with diverse methodologies. Her early scholarship focused on the importance of gender equality for welfare state spending and development and this has evolved to a focus on the gendered organization of legislative bodies. Bolzendahl continues to work on understanding public opinion regarding changing notions of citizenship, political participation and gender inequality across a variety of national and regional contexts. She also has ongoing projects that view family as a site of inequality according to gender, race, political rights, and sexual orientation.



"Defining Women's Global Political Empowerment: Theories and Evidence " (with Amy Alexander and Farida Jalalzai). Sociology Compass 10, no. 6 (2016): 432-441.

Interrogates women's political empowerment', considering its definition, measurement, and application.

"Rhetoric and Reality: The Role of Family Issues in Politician and Party Support" (with Rottem Sagi). Journal of Family Issues 36, no. 13 (2015): 1731-1750.

Examines whether respondents think party/politician views on family issues are important and asks respondents to provide examples of relevant family issues. Differing approaches to family issues may stem from the patchwork system of legislation for families in the United States.

"Opportunities and Expectations: The Gendered Organization of Legislative Committees in Germany, Sweden, and the United States" Gender & Society 28, no. 6 (2014): 847-76.

Examines legislatures as gendered organizations that build gender into their institutional operation. Creates conditions for gendered policy influence.

Counted Out: Same Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family (with Brian Powell, Claudia Geist, and Lala Carr Steelman) (Russel Sage Foundation, 2010).

examines currents in public opinion to assess their policy implications and predict how Americans’ definitions of family may change in the future. For most Americans, however, the boundaries around what they define as family are becoming more malleable with time.

"Same Game, Different Rules? Gender Differences in Political Participation" Sex Roles 62, no. 5 (2010): 318-333.

Finds that women are more likely than men to have voted and engaged in ‘private’ activism, while men are more likely to have engaged in direct contact, collective types of actions and be (more active) members of political parties.