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PE Researcher -- Seeking Interviewees for Book

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PE Researcher -- Seeking Interviewees for Book

My name is Scott Melzer and I’m a sociologist at Albion College (in Michigan, USA) who studies men and masculinity. I’m conducting research for a book on what expectations are placed on men and how those expectations affect them. A major focus of the book is men’s bodies, which is how I eventually landed on Thunder’s Place and other PE sites.

I am seeking men willing to do a *CONFIDENTIAL* phone interview with me — no names will be used and identities will be masked in all publications and presentations.

I would ask questions about your body image, what motivated you to join the forum and do PE, how participating in the forum and doing the exercises have affected you, general background questions, your views on masculinity, and more. The interview will take about 75 minutes.

My book examines American manhood, so with apologies to members living elsewhere, I have to restrict participation to those living in the States.

Please feel free to message me — my username is ResearcheronPE

Or email me at smelzer@albion.edu

I would be happy to send you the informed consent form, which provides more information about the project and research process, or answer any questions you have. Contacting me doesn’t commit you to anything.

Thanks.

Scott Melzer
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Albion College
Smelzer@albion.edu

What is your hypothesis if you don’t mind me asking?

Originally Posted by mizguy12
What is your hypothesis if you don’t mind me asking?

Mizguy — I’m happy to answer any and all questions.

My project uses a research method that doesn’t rely on hypothesis-testing. It turns the traditional research model on its head, so to speak.

The method allows me to collect the data first (do interviews), and then figure out what’s going on. Of course, I have some sense that, for example, being teased as a boy is going to have a negative effect on your self-concept. The interview explores a wide range of experiences, identities, and attitudes.

I hope that answers your question.

Scott Melzer
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Albion College
Smelzer@albion.edu

Of course your research will be tainted by the fact that you are only gathering information from those willing to talk to you about what motivated them, this excludes a large portion of the community with many different views on both PE and masculinity. And the other factor about your book is it will be a snapshot in time as to views about both PE and masculinity.

I’m not saying it won’t be interesting, please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m actually fascinated by the changing views on masculinity (and what I perceive as its demise).


A well tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.

A well PE'd Penis gives girls the "Wow Eyes"

I :surf: therefore I am

Originally Posted by Behemoth
Of course your research will be tainted by the fact that you are only gathering information from those willing to talk to you about what motivated them, this excludes a large portion of the community with many different views on both PE and masculinity. And the other factor about your book is it will be a snapshot in time as to views about both PE and masculinity.

Are you saying that the information gleaned from interviewees is going to be limited by those… willing to be interviewees?

And that the information that’s collected will only be a snapshot as of the time…they’re collected?

I think the point is he’s come to communities like PE sites to find out what motivates us oddballs to engage in such pursuits, so I think the limitation of the population is by design. Or, people that choose the PE route may only be a small subgroup of the total population to compare and contrast to other groups. And I think the world and its views are always changing, everything written/typed/recorded will eventually become outdated.

I respect your objections, I’m just not sure that any are of the “taint” variety :) I’d be interested to see if and how all of this information collected comes together.


Last edited by Illivan : 09-13-2013 at .

Scott,

I wonder if it would be more fair to call your work reporting rather than researching. In either case I think you are studying two interesting topics and I too am excited to see your report.

Originally Posted by Illivan
Are you saying that the information gleaned from interviewees is going to be limited by those… willing to be interviewees?

And that the information that’s collected will only be a snapshot as of the time…they’re collected?

Well done, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.


A well tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.

A well PE'd Penis gives girls the "Wow Eyes"

I :surf: therefore I am

Wow, wasn’t expecting a methodology discussion, but happy to have that conversation with smart posters! Thanks to Behemoth, mizguy, and Illivan for comments and questions. I’ve tried to address everything below.

Will my sample be self-selected? Absolutely. Will my research be representative of the entire PE community? Certainly not. But that’s not the priority for qualitative social science research. You won’t find me making sweeping claims about all men who do PE or all PE communities. Hopefully other researchers will follow and continue to paint a fuller picture of this phenomenon.

(I’d note, though, that even a really well-designed survey with a big sample is unlikely to be representative of the PE community. There are a lot of lurkers, among many other data collection concerns. The nature of the group makes it very difficult to study.)

Instead of quantity, my method focuses on quality. I obtain in-depth data on men’s lives. This is a feature of qualitative research, not a bug.

A survey provides minimal information on a large sample of people. Rich, in-depth interviews provide a lot of information on a smaller group of people. There are pros and cons to both methods. I have and do use both quantitative and qualitative methods depending on my what I’m studying.

Despite the sampling limitations that come with interview-based research, I hope to speak with as diverse a group as possible — different kinds of men (older, younger, gay, straight, all body types, etc) who joined Thunder’s and do PE for different reasons (for self, for sexual partners, for health reasons, etc), and who get different things from the experience. Any and all (American) men are invited to participate!

One other key reason why I am doing interviews instead of surveys is because there isn’t a sociological literature on this topic. Exploring new research areas requires this kind of bottom-up approach (it’s called grounded theory method if anyone is interested), whereby you collect data on the group and then (using social theory and research on similar topics) you use the data to make sense of the group and/or individual men’s experiences.

Oh, and what distinguishes qualitative social science research from journalism is how and how much data are collected, the systematic coding processes used to identify key themes and patterns in the data, and the interpretation of data using social theory.

There are a handful of reporters whose work looks a lot like sociology, but even they would admit (or brag) that that’s not what they do. (They write really well, which they would rightly point out is quite rare in academic writing.)

Keep the questions, comments, and (especially) email and forum message inquiries about participating in my research coming!

Thanks.

Scott

Scott Melzer
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Albion College
Smelzer@albion.edu

Originally Posted by marinera
You wrote the below also with the same method?
http://www.amazon.com/Gun-Crusaders…howViewpoints=1

Yes, marinera, I used the same method. It’s widely used in sociology.

Ha, it is a tough crowd, Thunder, but again I’m happy to answer any and all questions.

If you’re subtly referencing the negative reviews by a couple of anonymous amazon reviewers, I’d encourage you and others to search around for reviews by sociologists and other scholars. That book was reviewed by multiple sociology journals. (Or better yet, I’d encourage you to read the book and decide for yourself!)

And, hopefully without sounding defensive, I’ll mention that you’d be hard pressed to find a book, newspaper article, or even a blog post on gun politics without finding a lot of commenters with axes to grind. It’s a topic that generates more heat than light. The public responses to my book was no different.

Scott Melzer
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Albion College
Smelzer@albion.edu

Originally Posted by ResearcheronPE
Yes, marinera, I used the same method. It’s widely used in sociology.

Ha, it is a tough crowd, Thunder, but again I’m happy to answer any and all questions.

If you’re subtly referencing the negative reviews by a couple of anonymous amazon reviewers…..


That’s not what I referring to, but to your statement that you have no hypothesis. That’s simply not possible. I guess those who want to know what this hypothesis is will have to buy the book.

Have you answered your own questions yet?

Originally Posted by ThunderSS

Tough crowd.

Was just thinking that myself. But, thanks to you, they use complete words and complete sentences. To an outsider, this must appear as something remarkable. In fact, far more worthy of a study than than the moths and cobwebs inside the heads of vain and arrogant fools who stretch their dicks for whatever silly reason.

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