Purpose of the Study
Gender stereotypes are frequently discussed by theorists and psychologists around the whole world. People make their decisions, develop relations, choose jobs, or even get married thinking that they take all steps on their free will and promote financial security (Aluko, 2015).
However, plenty of women cannot even guess how dependent on stereotypes they are. Helgeson (2015) admits that implicit stereotypes are crucial in human life. In addition to the fact that people may think that it is normal to provide women with lower salaries than men, women themselves could believe that it is normal to get low salaries and stay satisfied with the opportunities got (Helgeson, 2015).
Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to explain the role of stereotypes and their misunderstanding by people. It can be achieved by discussing the ways of how stereotypes predetermine a human life and a female life, in particular, explaining the approaches that can change the situation, and defining the power of stereotypes.
Two main methods, interviews, and focus group discussions are going to be used in the phenomenological model of the study. First, it is necessary to interview a certain number of women and ask them several open-ended questions (will be mentioned below) to get more information about their experience, their opinions, and their thoughts about stereotypes. During the interviews, the researcher should not only record the conversations but also get ready to make notes about the emotions, mimics, or other behavioral changes of the interviewees.
The interviews should be organized in a favorable environment (free lightroom with several windows, tables, and comfortable chairs). Women should be eager to share their experiences and feel comfortable during conversations. The researcher may ask some provocative questions to clarify some details of the situations described by a participant.
In comparison to interviews, focus group discussions involve more participants at the same time. Women are gathered into groups of four and ask to share their experiences and the possible challenges they face as women in society. The questions are similar to those asked during the interviews. Still, they can be modified regarding the situations to get in-depth answers and thoughts.
Population and Sample
American women aged between 17 and 35 will be interviewed for this study to learn their understanding of their duties, possibilities, and current challenges. It is expected to get the answers from 12 women that visit the same college (students, teachers, and other college workers or their family members).
Diverse sampling is offered to make sure women of different ages with different education, ethnicity, marital and socio-economic statuses are involved in the study. The main inclusion and exclusion criteria for the participants are:
- 4 female students between 17 and 20 years of different races;
- 4 female teachers between 25-35 years of different races;
- 2 college female workers between 30-35 years of different races;
- 2 accidental visitors of the college (family members) between 17 and 35 years (one white female and one black female), who do not have work.
It is very important to find people of different ages with different or no jobs to focus on different aspects of gender stereotypes. The participants are asked several open-ended questions. Then, they are offered to participate in forum discussions (3 randomly-organized groups of four women).
Data Collection Procedures
- Choose and invite appropriate female participants;
- Find a room for interviews and forum discussions;
- Interview each of 12 female participants face-to-face;
- Record communication and ask for permission to take notes during interviews;
- Divide participants into three groups and record their discussions (and make notes if something important should be underlined);
- After the discussions, listen to the recordings and compare the answers obtained from the interviews in a table;
- Listen to the discussions recordings and underline the main similar and different points;
- Make sure all details and in-depth thoughts are identified.
Guiding Interview Questions
The following questions will help to gather enough information about the factors that may affect the development of female attitudes to gender-related issues:
- What are your age, background education, material status, and current job?
- Do you believe that stereotypes influence human life? How does it happen?
- Have you ever faced situations when men were appreciated more than women in the workplace? Describe them.
- Do you believe that some work is for men only, and some work is for women only? Give several examples.
- What do the men of your family think about the role of women in today’s society? Do you agree with their points?
- In what way do you want to change the way of how women are treated at workplaces?
- What gender-related issues influence your life?
- In what way do you want to change the role of stereotypes in today’s society?
Other Data Collection Procedures
It is expected to surf the web and read female forums to understand what bothers today’s women the most. There are many credible sources to find online. The main rationale for the choice of online forums is the possibility to register on thematic forums in a short period and to find information on different topics that may be interesting to women. Such alternative data should help to identify if women comprehend that many factors may predetermine their attitudes towards gender-related issues, and if they are ready to deal with them to improve their living and working conditions, cooperation with men, and the abilities to earn more taking into consideration their personal experience and knowledge but not their sexual characteristics.
Aluko, Y.A. (2015). Re-evaluating the empowerment potential of women’s paid work. International Journal of Gender and Women’s Studies, 3(2), 190-201.
Helgeson, V. (2015). Psychology of gender. New York, NY: Psychology Press.