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A sociology study of male self image

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Abiola Olanipekun

A-level sociology  


                                         AS sociology coursework

Section A:

Title: A sociology study of male self image

Author: Matthew Laza

Date of publication: 1993

Publisher of source: Collins educational student Awards in sociology

Section B:

The research chose to examine whether the male self image has been changed by feminism. The stated aims of this research were to:

  • Investigate attitudes to masculinity from a representative sample of males in the local population
  • Compare these views with those of a group of his peers and fellow sixth formers at christleton high school
  • Examine how his findings can be explained, evaluated and understood in the light of other sociological studies  

Other aims the author wanted to explore were:

  • How far the practical demands of feminism in terms of the fair division of domestic labour between the sexes has affected the everyday lives of a group of ordinary men
  • How far any concept of the ‘new man’ has entered the consciousness of actual men.

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Section C:

The author did mention that there were problems in delivering the questionnaires to the older sample because of limited time and the fact that delivery and collection had to be done by hand, because of a low response rate he then decided that he would double the amount of questionnaires given in the older sample so that he would retrieve the original amount that he wanted.

  It is likely that laza decided to use structured questionnaires to compare the views of his peers with those of older males. He chose to only question males self images. By using questionnaires laza could gain an appropriate number for this type of research. Laza was a sociology student carrying out a pilot investigation therefore there were practical issues to consider such as time, resources and administration.

  To deal with issues with such as a low response rate is always a common problem with postal questionnaires. Laza distributed 25 questionnaires in Boughton and 25 Boughton heath then used the first 10 successfully recovered in each location.

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  Evidently theoretically the males in lazas research had been affected by feminism, and lazas choice of methodology allowed him to verify his hypothesis. Self completion questionnaires allowed laza to draw interesting conclusions from the respondents answers. It allowed allowed him look at the effect of  feminism on the mens behaviour. However the length of questionnaire ran to three pages which treated two problems. Firstly it may have deterred respondents as it would be time consuming. Secondly for laza to analyse the answers it would be time consuming. Respondents may not have understood the questions, therefore their answers may have been incomplete, illegible, or in comprehensible. Closed questions may also have limited their responses, therefore this may have effected the validity of lazas research. However by using a quantitative method he increased the reliability of his findings.

  Laza tried to ensure that his sample was representative with regards to social class by distributing his questionnaires in two areas one predominantly working class and the other middle class. This sample was also representative in terms of age two distinct groups were represented.  


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