All entries for Monday 06 June 2005

June 06, 2005

Research objectives

These are only rough working objectives and I will no doubt refine them later (I hope so!), but I have to start somewhere, besides blind panic which is all I've managed for the past… 24 years.

Aim: To examine the barriers to employment (perceived and actual) faced by unemployed, middle-aged men.

Objectives:

  1. To evaluate official surveys and literature about opportunities and barriers to work for males aged 50+.

  2. To review the sociological literature in the areas of masculinities, ageing and work.

  3. To examine the perceptions of barriers to employment of a small group of unemployed men aged 45+.

  4. To review how these findings compare to sociological theories of masculinities.

  5. To draw conclusions about perceived and actual barriers to employment for this gender and age group.

Methods:

  1. Secondary analysis of official surveys and reports (Labour Force Survey, Census, DWP Reports). Part 1 of lit review (ch 2).

  2. Secondary analysis of articles, books and journals focussing on: masculinities and work (+ brief history of labour market and masculinities?), age(ism) and work, unemployment. Part 2 of lit review (ch 3).

  3. Primary data collected through participant observation (summer school), questionnaires and/or interviews. Methodology chapter (ch 4) and results (ch 5, 6).

  4. Analysis – a comparison of my findings (primary research) with the 'official' governmental literature. A further comparison between my findings and the state of sociological knowledge re: masculinities, ageing and unemployment. Suggestions for further research? (ch 7)

  5. Conclusions (ch 8)

Yes. So, um, right… I have to go and do some of those things now, don't I?


Panthers don't roar… sometimes they chirp or peep*

Monday
Have spent the day contending with a herd (collective noun?) of flirtatious panthers. What a set of charmers! So much for being the impartial ‘objective’ researcher… but then we don’t much like positivistic detachment much in Gender Studies anyway (besides which I didn’t flirt back so it’s probably ok).

Took a lot of notes and ran around making photocopies of teaching materials. Jon decided to completely rework the schedule 5 minutes before the session was due to start, which was nice of him, though not entirely unexpected.

We ended up doing an ice-breaker exercise with them in pairs, someone from the Skills Centre talked about utilising university facilities, and Jon did a ‘who am I?’ type skills exercise. In the afternoon Pat talked about the PDP and Larissa did a SWOT analysis with them in small groups, which brought out various issues concerning their position in relation to the current job market – to be explored further in the session tomorrow morning.

I stayed with the group for the whole day, including lunch time, and had a really good day. Felt useful and engaged and worthwhile for a change. Came away with that teaching buzz, something I haven’t felt for over a year, even though I hadn’t even been leading the sessions. Now thinking that maybe I should have applied for PGCE. Ho hum.

I’m not sure that any of the above can really be classified as ‘academic-related’. Furthermore, if this is the kind of rambling that will constitute my (EVIL BASTARD) dissertation, then I’m in serious trouble. Got to write up my notes anyway before I forget everything that sounded vaguely relevant.

*use ful less fact from http://www.panther.state.fl.us/handbook/natural/vocal.html


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