Perceptions of marriage and gender roles among college students: A qualitative investigation



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Texas Tech University


This project is a qualitative investigation of college students' perceptions of marriage. I believe qualitative methods will allow for the most useful exploration of these perceptions. The variables listed above (relational intimacy, division of labor, physical attraction, personality traits, etc.) are all part of a complete whole. The holistic nature of this inquiry demands that several variables not be factored out in order to focus on a single common denominator because all factors have meaning and add to a deeper understanding of my research questions. The goal of this project is to explore and seek to develop a complete and holistic understanding of college students' perceptions of marriage. The naturalistic paradigm facilitates research of this sort because it does not attempt to manipulate the research setting, but seeks to understand and observe a phenomenon as it naturally occurs. This "discovery oriented" approach allows the researcher to be open to whatever emerges, rather than trying to formulate a single dominant rule that describes all participants (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Thus, to the fullest extent possible, this project is not based on any preconceived notions, a priori frameworks, or educated guesses about how the participants might respond to marriage. Rather, the purpose of this endeavor is truly to explore college students' perceptions of marriage, discover how they respond to certain questions, and analyze their reactions and discussions in accordance with standards of qualitative inquiry.



Marriage, Sex role, College students