Participant Observation Essay

Submitted By omararamirez
Words: 1436
Pages: 6

Omar Ramirez
Research Methods
Qualitative Interviewing
May 8, 2014

What are the different challenges faced by a male student parent and a girl female student parent at Lewis? This is an interesting question to examine because the challenges faced by a male parent could be different compared to those of a girl parent. For instance, because the male is seen as the breadwinner and the women as the one who nurtures the kid’s, it is expected that a women spends more time with her child than a man would. When examining this question the value to society is that both genders should be able to get the same amount of flexibility so that one doesn’t face more challenges than the other that will interfere with ones performance at school while the other gains an advantage. It will be interesting to examine both gender roles and come up with an answer as to who faces the biggest challenge between the two.
For this particular research I interviewed two student parents from Lewis University. First I interviewed 24 year old Michael Pyle and also 27 year old Lindsey Thomson. I chose these two individuals particularly as my research subject because they are both of a mature age, have kids, both are married, attend Lewis, and based on my research I need two people of different gender to distinguish the different challenges each gender face. In order to collect the data I constructed a set of interviewing questions that could further explain my research. A total of eight questions were asked to each participant in a one to one conversation at different times. The interviewing was done in a quiet place located in the second floor of the library where the interview couldn’t be interrupted. Michael was interviewed on Thursday of May 1st. and Lindsey was interviewed Tuesday of May 6th. Both interviews were around noon and I made sure both participants had time to eat lunch before beginning the interview. I felt like the time and being able to eat before was important in order to receive well in depth responses from each participant and also because after you eat you regain energy. Each interview took a length time of about 6-8minutes max. The interview itself went pretty smooth and the feedback I was getting was detailed and well explained by both parties. In addition, I asked questions that specified such things like amount of time spend with their kid, time flexibility, hours of work per week, biggest challenge as a student parent, hours of sleep, and is there an equal share of child caring as well as other questions that I will include in the appendix. These questions allowed me to analyze each participant and help come up with an answer as to who face the biggest challenge.

Table 1
Interview Questions
Michael Pyle
Lindsey Thomson
How many kids do you have?
What is their age?
2 & 4
1 & 6
How many hours of sleep do you get?
7 and on a good night 8
How many hours a week do you work?
37 hours per week
24 hours per week
How many hours on average do you spend with your kid a day?
4 hours
8 hours
Because of your gender do you feel that you have more/less time flexibility?
Less because being the man I have to work long hours in order to keep my family financially stable
Less because I have to take care of my kid, cook dinner, and do house chores
What do you do when you are at home with your kid?
Eat, play with my kids, and watch TV with my family
Get the older one ready for school, make breakfast & dinner, and monitor them every minute
What are the biggest challenges you face as a student parent?
Getting assignments done on time and time flexibility
Making time for assignments, being late to class or missing days when my kid is sick, and being on the rush all the time
Do you take any online classes and why?
No, I prefer classes In person
Yes, because that way I can spend more time at home with my kid.
Do you and your partner share an equal contribution