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.


  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.


  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?

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