Sex Scandals in American Politics: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Construction and Aftermath of Contemporary Political Sex Scandals

Sex Scandals in American Politics: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Construction and Aftermath of Contemporary Political Sex Scandals

By: Alison Dagnes (editor)Hardback

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This is a collection of essays that examine the construction, disgrace, and consequences of political sex scandals from various academic disciplines. From the misbehavior of President Clinton to Governor Mark Sanford's Argentinean tryst, sex scandals have become a prominent feature of American public life. This unique collection of essays explains why politicians elected for their leadership and promises of ethical behavior risk their career, and the socio-political consequences of their actions. It argues that political sex scandals are distinct from other types of sex scandals because the nature of elected office is very different from "civilian" life. The construction, disgrace, and aftermath of political sex scandals are examined from different academic angles, including the politics of place, human communication, political psychology, media, sociology, feminism, and criminology. The essays delve into the role of culture and geography on the political outcome of a scandal, the rhetoric of apologia, the psychology of risk, trends and patterns in media coverage, the impact on different organized interests, legal ramifications, and how different countries view political sex scandal. This accessible work will engage anyone studying American politics, political behavior, political communication as well as sociological issues and the role of the media.

About Author

Alison Dagnes is Associate Professor of Political Science at Shippensburg University, USA. After being a producer at C-SPAN in Washington, she moved to academia and now teaches courses on American government and politics. Her research interests focus on American political behavior and ideology in modern American politics. She is the author of Politics on Demand: The Effects of 24-Hour News on American Politics (Praeger, 2010)


1. Introduction; Alison Dagnes; 2. Game Changer: The Clinton Scandal and American Sexuality Cynthia Drenovsky; 3. The Psychology of Risky Sexual Behavior: Why Politicians Expose Themselves James D. Griffith; 4. A Framework for Understanding: Sex Scandals in Comparison Mark Sachleben; 5. The Politics, Geography and Constituencies of Political Sex Scandals Alison Dagnes and Janet Smith; 6. Men, Mistresses, and Media Framing: Examining Political Sex Scandals Carrie Sipes; 7. Love Means Sometimes Having to Say You're Sorry Richard Knight; 8. It May Be Wrong, But it's Not a Crime: The negligible legal consequences for the amoral sexual activity of men in public office Stephanie Jirard; 9. Hedging the Bet: Constitutional Qualifications for National Public Office Cynthia Botteron; Index.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781441184771
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 200
  • ID: 9781441184771
  • ISBN10: 1441184775

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