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Chapter 9 Interviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

Why Interview Research?

Today’s young men are delaying their entry into adulthood. That’s a nice way of saying they are “totally confused”; “cannot commit to their relationships, work, or lives”; and are “obsessed with never wanting to grow up.”These quotes come from a summary of reviews on the website dedicated to Kimmel’s book, Guyland: http://www.guyland.net. But don’t take my word for it. Take sociologist Michael Kimmel’s word. He interviewed 400 young men, ages 16 to 26, over the course of 4 years across the United States to learn how they made the transition from adolescence into adulthood. Since the results of Kimmel’s research were published in 2008,Kimmel, M. (2008). Guyland: The perilous world where boys become men. New York, NY: Harper Collins. his book has made quite a splash. Featured in news reports, on blogs, and in many book reviews, some claim Kimmel’s research “could save the humanity of many young men,”This quote from Gloria Steinem is provided on the website dedicated to Kimmel’s book, Guyland: http://www.guyland.net. while others suggest that its conclusions can only be applied to “fraternity guys and jocks.”This quote comes from “Thomas,” who wrote a review of Kimmel’s book on the following site: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/review-guyland. Whatever your take on Kimmel’s research, one thing remains true: We surely would not know nearly as much as we now do about the lives of many young American men were it not for interview research.

Thanks to interview research, we know something about how young men today do (or do not) make the transition into adulthood.