Towards equitable institutions of civic engagement
This thesis uses intersectional feminist statistical methods to investigate the ways that identity (including race, class, gender, and other factors) impacts access to political power within civic engagement institutions. It examines neighborhood associations as a case study, which connect neighborhood residents to opportunities to participate in local politics. The work aims to build upon gaps in civic engagement literature by explicitly studying the intersection of race, class, and gender and its impacts on political power. Further, this thesis seeks to investigate the specific mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion occurring within the localized context of civic engagement institutions in New Orleans. Chapter 1 focuses on and identifies gaps within relevant civic engagement literature, Chapter 2 introduces and justifies the chosen methodological approach, Chapter 3 includes an in-depth analysis of results, and Chapter 4 summarizes and interprets key findings. Overall, this investigation revealed that race, class, and gender actively shape access to political power in nuanced and often contradictory ways in New Orleans. Further, findings suggest that neighborhood associations are not demographically representative of New Orleans residents at both neighborhood and city-wide levels.