Gender disparity in debate: An analysis of dominant discourses in national parliamentary debate using symbolic interactionism



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This paper provides an initial snapshot at the collegiate parliamentary debate community’s identification and development of gender identities in the debate community. Using Symbolic Interactionism and a Critical Gender lens this paper employs narrative interviews to examine the parliamentary debate community. I interviewed women and men debaters to explain the current gender disparity in the debate community. This community is unique because it is supposed to be tabula rasa anyone can win as long as their arguments are developed well. However, research indicates that more men than women are in competitive out rounds. This paper identifies various themes associated with gender identity that the community uses as a precursor to their treatment of various individuals in the debate community.