The Development Of U.S. Higher Education Policy And Its Impact On The Gender Dynamics Of American Citizenship
Treating federal higher education policy as an indispensable component of the American welfare state, this dissertation examines how it has influenced the gender dynamics of American citizenship since the mid-twentieth century. In recent decades, the U.S. has seen both a striking increase in women's higher educational attainment and a narrowing of the gender gap in political engagement. I examine how landmark higher education policies have affected these outcomes, analyzing the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958, the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Using qualitative analysis of historical documents and archival resources, including legislative statutes, Congressional Record transcripts, and oral history interview materials, I examine how these ground-breaking social policies were fashioned and probe how-in contrast to other landmark social welfare programs-they included women on equal terms with men. Then, I draw upon quantitative techniques, such as logistic and OLS regression, to explain how federal higher education policies have influenced the gender dynamics of social and political citizenship in the United States. This empirical analysis draws upon several datasets, including the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) and the Higher Education Research Institute's Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey. I find that by providing crucial resources and experiences, these policies have contributed to women's promotion to first-class citizenship in the United States, revolutionizing the way in which the state interacts with women and promoting gender equality in terms of social and political citizenship.
higher education; public policy; policy feedback
Mettler, Suzanne Bridget
Jones-Correa, Michael; Lowi, Theodore J; Enns, Peter; Anderson, Christopher J
Ph. D., Government
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis