Exercise 2.2 Research Problem and Questions
Why do women in the United States vote to elect and support people who are against women’s rights and/or equality? Do these women fall within a grand narrative of their own making or one that has been crafted by men? What other factors influence the actions of these women versus the structure of the communities in which they live?
From Phyllis Schlafly, the outspoken activist who fought against equal pay for women, abortion rights and feminism in general, to the women who voted against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump, a long line of social and political events have cemented the presence of women who vote and/or work against equal rights for women. As a woman, it is inconceivable that women still earn less than men, and that women comprise less than 25% of US Senate and Congressional seats. These sensitizing issues and the fact that so much gender inequality still exists are what motivate this research.
The phenomenon of women voting against their own best interests, or more appropriately, the rights of their own gender, is not new. It is not widely understood, though, beyond the satisfice of individual factors such as religion and/or geographic location. Only an emic, qualitative study will provide the inductive, phronetic approach to lead to a fuller, more nuanced answer. For example, quantitative research might reveal that a certain percentage of these women belong to a specific religion; however, that data does not expose the personal stories and/or experiences of these women, both in society and at home.
As a bricoleur, I would like to use information gathered from interviews with and stories from individual women, quantitative data about their religious and marital status and education. Additionally, it would be insightful to study impressionist tales, as available, from several of the women belonging to the studied group.