Meg Savel is a doctoral candidate in the political science department, specializing in American politics. Her broad research interests include public opinion, political psychology, and women and politics.
In her dissertation, she argues that analyzing the effects of gender in the context of other social identities can provide a better understanding of why women continue to struggle to get elected to Congress. Specifically, she shows how the expectation that women will be parents negatively affects their ability to get elected to public office. Motherhood, and the expectation that women will be mothers, places a distinct bind on women as candidates, and this bind intersects with other known binds that women candidates face, such as the double bind. To conceptualize this third bind, she traces societal expectations of mothers using feminist theory, public opinion polls, and popular portrayals of women. Using original survey experiments, surveys, and content analysis of the communication of women candidates for Congress, she demonstrates how expectations of motherhood present added difficulties for women. Taken together, her research shows the need to add another bind to our understanding of the difficulties women candidates face when they run for office.
Meg received her BA with high distinction in Political Science and Women's Studies from the University of Michigan in 2013.