64 13.0 Chapter introduction

What is it like to be a young man entering adulthood? According to sociologist Michael Kimmel, they are “totally confused”; “cannot commit to their relationships, work, or lives”; and are “obsessed with never wanting to grow up.” [1] If that sounds like a bunch of malarkey to you, hold on a minute. Kimmel interviewed 400 young men, ages 16 to 26, over the course of four years across the United States to learn how young men made the transition from adolescence into adulthood. Since the results of Kimmel’s research were published in 2008, [2] his book Guyland made quite a splash. 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.

Chapter Outline

  • 13.1 Interview research: What is it and when should it be used?
  • 13.2 Qualitative interview techniques
  • 13.3 Issues to consider for all interview types
  • 13.4 Focus groups
  • 13.5 Analyzing qualitative data

Content Advisory

This chapter discusses or mentions the following topics: childfree adults, sexual harassment, juvenile delinquency, drunk driving, racist hate groups, ageism, sexism, and police interviews.

  1. These quotes come from a summary of reviews on the website dedicated to Kimmel’s book, Guyland: http://www.guyland.net.
  2. Kimmel, M. (2008). Guyland: The perilous world where boys become men. New York, NY: Harper Collins.


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