Reproducing Hierarchies at the APSA Annual Meeting: Patterns of Panel Attendance by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

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Piscopo, Jennifer M.
Xydias, Christina
Atchison, Amy L.
Och, Malliga
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Cambridge University Press
Research on the political science profession has shown that homophilous research networks—that is, those organized along the lines of gender and race/ethnicity—reproduce hierarchies. Research networks composed of whitemen experience themost prestige and lead to the most opportunities. This study documents homophilous networks in a setting where they likely are nurtured: academic conferences. Drawing data from the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, we examine the correspondence between the gender and the racial/ethnic composition of section members, panelists, and audience members for four research sections: Political Methodology; Political Psychology; Race, Ethnicity, and Politics; and Women and Politics. We find that attendees’ and panelists’ gender and racial/ethnic identity largely mirror the dominant gender and racial/ethnic group in their section. These findings indicate that homophily manifests at academic conferences and that efforts to diversify research networks should consider who listens to whom in these settings.