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Sinclair-Chapman's research focuses on American political institutions, legislative politics, minority representation in Congress, and minority political participation. Her research examines why and how previously marginalized groups gain inclusion in the American political system.
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Argues that the Confederate flag is a symbol only distantly connected to its referent and is more informed by emotion than by details or facts. Uses the actions of rapper Kanye West as an abbreviated case study and proposes the possibility of disrupting symbolic meanings in ways that could make Confederate symbols less sticky in meaning and ownership, and perhaps less politically divisive.
Advances a diversity infrastructure theory to explain why and how minority legislators have kept minority interests on the congressional agenda. Finds that despite the decline of national attention to civil rights and social welfare issues in general, increased diversity in the House and to a lesser extent, in the Senate is responsible for keeping minority interests on the congressional agenda.
Discusses diversity in the discipline of political science.