Kristy Pathakis

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political Science, UC San Diego

Kristy Pathakis is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science at UCSD and also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and International Relations from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD. Her research focuses on the psychological barriers to political participation that underrepresented groups face in the United States.

In her research, Kristy theorizes that there are psychological processes at work that discourage underrepresented groups from participating in the political process beyond the barriers they face from the relative lack of access to material and political resources. The work tests the hypothesis that at the core of this lie psychological differences in the expectations dominant and subordinate groups have been socialized to hold with respect to self-expression. Currently, she is working on a paper examining gender differences in political participation, which she argues are rooted in the deeply-entrenched differences in how men and women are socialized in American culture. Next, this framework is applied to racial and ethnic minorities, including immigrants, and also low SES groups, each of which has an experience of socialization different from the dominant group in American politics, and has consequences for the political participation of these groups, the representation they receive, and the types of policies that are adopted as a result.