IJSRP, Volume 5, Issue 11, November 2015 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
This paper reviews Hanna Pitkin’s (1967) four conceptions of representations. These are descriptive, substantive, formalistic and symbolic representation. The conceptions of representation and their implications for strategies concerning the engagement of women in formal politics are varied. There is a contrast on conceptions that focus on either what is being rep¬re¬¬¬sented or who the representatives are, with conceptions of representation as an act (Pitkin, 1967; Phil¬lips, 1994), as “differentiated relationship among plural actors” (Young, 2000: 127) and Phillips (1995: 96) con¬ception of a “politics of ideas and presence.” Young’s perspective emphasises the relational nature of rep¬resentation. On the other hand, Phillips (1995) incorporates what is being represented and who the representatives are, thus reflecting inclusion and avoiding dichotomies which assume that one is more impor¬t¬ant than the other. The methodology used in this study was documentary research of Pitkin’s work. The works of other scholars who have written on the theories are also reviewed.