Date of Award

7-1-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. William Boone

Second Advisor

Dr. Abi Awomolo

Third Advisor

Dr. Komanduri S. Murty

Abstract

This study exams the association between socioeconomic characteristics (SEC); Political Knowledge, Familiarity and Engagement (PKFE), Voting Attitudes (VA), History of Voting (VH), and Voting Participation (VP) among black women voters in Keysville and Atlanta, Georgia. A cluster sampling technique was employed for this study which produced a sample consisting of 218 black women in Keysville and 246 black women in Atlanta. The conceptual model of this study included a series of structural equations designed to inquire into recent voting participation. Data analysis was conducted at both descriptive and inferential levels. Results among black women in both locations indicate that select socioeconomic variables influenced familiarity with election processes. Voting attitudes is also influenced by familiarity with the process of elections. Voting history, specifically, registering to vote, influenced Political Knowledge, Familiarity and Engagement in both urban and rural areas. In Atlanta, being a registered voter influenced their voting participation and in Keysville, consistent voting at all electoral levels (local. stale, and federal) was influenced by voting in person as a replacement for use of an absentee ballot. In Atlanta, knowledge of Georgia politics influenced recent voting participation in the 2006 Presidential elections, while select engagement activities influence their voting participation in the last state elections. Among Keysville, knowledge of state and local level influenced their recent voting participation in both the last primary and local elections--their attendance in town hall meetings also influenced their participation in these elections. Findings suggest that the black church plays a significant role in engaging black women in political process; creating local black women caucuses can affect elections outcomes local, state, and national levels; organized efforts should be made to target unregistered black women: and political parties should include more black women into the party structure. Implications for future studies should consider larger samples size to add greater validity to study findings among broader black women voters.

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