As the journey of the BCM212 research project continues and the deadline approaches, many more decisions and specifics have been implemented since my last blog post. If you don’t recall my ground-breaking research project topic, let me include it here so you don’t miss out; Why certain degrees are still gender dominated? And just what the stigma surrounding these gender-dominated degrees are?
This question lends itself to a number of research methods, these of which I have been planning and implementing as the project has progressed. In order to influentially answer the research question proposed, a number of different research methods need to be undertaken, which is just what I have, and am planning to do.
A survey has been created on survey monkey, and sent out to the BCM cohort of UOW, through the twitter hashtag in a hope to gain momentum. This survey is being conducted in a hope to gain information from all genders, as to why they believe degrees are still gender-dominated and to understand some of the stereotypes around these certain degrees. I hope this will give an overall insight into student opinions and understandings.
This survey is a key research method of the overall project, as the students are they key to answering the baffling question and understanding why it exists. However, I cannot deny the difficulty which arose in creating a number of these questions, as well as the difficulty of wording these gender based questions in an ethical way.
A focus group is another research method I plan to incorporate but have not yet embarked upon. In this, I hope to conduct a focus group with the small number of males which reside in my BCM212 class, as they are the minority. This will give me insight into personal experiences of being in a gender-dominated degree where you are the minority, and again, opinions on the stereotypes of degrees.
Secondary research is also a key contributor to my research to distinguish patterns of this behaviour and prove it is not an isolated event, but a recurring issue.
The possibility of observation also continues to consume my mind as during my initial research on the gender dominance of men in STEM degrees, the notion of discrimination and stereotyping against women who participate in these degrees arose a number of times. Therefore, I wish to conduct observation into a possible lecture of one of the STEM degrees, to see if I can observe any of this discriminatory or stereotypical behaviour first-hand. This will also help distinguish a pattern of behaviour. This is however a difficulty I am encountering as I aim to conduct many research methods, and this aim may make the research project too big to conduct and gather data in such a small amount of time.