Shifting Attitudes on the Second Shift: A Statistical Analysis of Women and Work
- Teach students how to examine and make sense of social survey data
- Develop a historical context for how attitudes towards women and work have evolved over time
- Improve skills writing and creating charts about quantitative data
- Foster connections among students via a group work setting
Context for Use
Taking place about half-way through the term, students will have already had ample experience contextualizing family demographics, but this is the first time students are asked to analyze data themselves. Even though students will likely have varying statistical knowledge, the assignment is geared for those without any prior background. Outside of an internet connection, no other special equipment is necessary.
Because the GSS deals with a broad array of issues, the assignment could be easily adapted to other sociological sub-fields or to other social science disciplines.
Description and Teaching Materials
As you conduct your statistical analysis of the 1988 GSS, consider Hochschilds findings, think about how do the qualitative and quantitative data complement each other? How do the stories from Hochschild's respondents fit with the larger demographic data?
Assignment (Microsoft Word 365kB Sep4 13)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Also, it is vital to stress that analyzing the data is only the first part of the assignment, emphasizing the importance of contextualizing the numbers within the historical and contemporary debates.
On the bigger picture level, assessment is based on whether students are able to connect their historical data to the larger discourse about work, family, and gender. Students are expected to draw on the relevant literature and identify recent studies as a point of comparison.
Even though its a group project, the final report should have a cohesive voice, effectively use charts and graphs, and link the statistical analysis to the bigger picture.
In order to check whether individual students are pulling their weight in this group project, members will have the opportunity to grade their peers and these evaluations are an integral part of the grade.
References and Resources
This is the link to the teaching guide that accompanies it
The Second Shift by Arlie Hochschild