Rocking the Vote

Emily Farris, assistant professor of political science, studies social capital and why black women participate more in politics.

(This article by Jessica Llanes originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of “TCU Magazine.”)

In an era of historically low participation in American politics, what prompts civic engagement among marginalized groups? What role does community play in determining how these groups participate? These are some questions Emily Farris explores in her research.

Photo of Emily Farris

Emily Farris, assistant professor of political science

“I’m particularly interested in how we approach the political inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups, whether it be black women, Latinos or immigrants to the United States,” said Farris, assistant professor of political science at TCU. “For me, the theme is the importance of community among marginalized groups. How does that affect political inclusion and the policies we see?”

Farris and research collaborator Mirya Holman, assistant professor of political science at Tulane University, tackled why black women participate in politics at a much higher than expected level, a phenomenon not sufficiently explained by prior scholarship. Their findings were published in Politics, Groups, and Identities in 2014.

“We became interested in black women because it’s a category that’s not typically studied,” said Farris. “There’s really little scholarship that looks at the intersection of race and gender when it comes to looking at their simultaneous effects related to political participation.”

Read more in “TCU Magazine.”