PROCESS FOR EXPLORING THE RESEARCH TOPIC UNDER INVESTIGATION

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CHAPTER 3 THE PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS COMPLEMENTED BY A LITERATURE CONTROL ON THE EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND COPING RESOURCES OF WORKING WIVES AND STAY-AT-HOME HUSBANDS: A SOCIAL WORK PERSPECTIVE – PART ONE</span

INTRODUCTION

At the outset of this research project, the following research objectives were formulated: first, to explore the experiences, challenges and coping resources of working wives and stay-at-home husbands; second, to describe the experiences, challenges and coping resources of working wives and stay-at-home husbands; and third, to draw conclusions and make recommendations about the experiences, challenges and coping resources of working wives and stay-at-home husbands and to provide suggestions for support to social work practitioners rendering services to these couple systems.
In order to realise these objectives, the researcher applied three modes of data collection, namely face-to-face and telephonic interviews and via electronic mail. This process was mainly facilitated by open-ended questions contained in an interview guide (Addendum 1.1) which gave the participants the opportunity to elaborate on the topic under investigation. In the case of e-mail-communication the questions were e-mailed to participants who, on completion, returned them via e-mail to the researcher. As explained in the previous chapter, the telephonic interviews were decided upon as an ancillary method of data collection due to the challenges experienced in the recruitment of participants. The telephone interviews were used to accommodate those participants who agreed to participate but who were geographically too far from the researcher to engage in face-to-face interviews, and also for those participants who felt more comfortable being interviewed telephonically.
Apart from the interviews, e-communication served as another method of data collection for those who preferred this way of participating in the study or for various reasons (as stated in Chapter 2, section 2.5). The researcher e-mailed the list of questions contained in the interview guide to these participants. They then answered the questions one-by-one or presented their answers in an essay-format. On receipt of their responses the researcher and the supervisor read through the answers or essays, adding comments to the participants requesting further elaboration. This was part of the agreement contracted with them. They gladly obliged and via this route opportunities were created for further exploration of the information provided via e-communication. This approach to data collection was adopted as the recruitment of the participants remained a challenge. The step was taken in consultation with the study supervisor and in response to feedback from potential participants. For the face-to-face and the telephonic interviews, the wives and the husbands were interviewed separately and the participants whose responses to the questions sent via e-mail were especially requested to reply as individuals and not as a couple. This was mainly to prevent couples from influencing each other, as well as data becoming contaminated. The sample comprised ten working wives and ten stay-at-home husbands (Table 3.1 in Chapter 3).
As previously indicated (see Chapter 2, section 2.3) the researcher opted to use a qualitative research approach with a collective case study, a phenomenological, exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design or strategy of inquiry. A collective case study was decided on as part of the strategy of inquiry in that it involved and studied multiple cases (Cf. Yin, 2003; Baxter & Jack, 2008:549-550.), namely, several working wives and stay-at-home husbands. Their experiences, challenges and coping resources were explored and subsequently described in relation to fulfilling the non-traditional marital roles of working wives with stay-at-home husbands. Despite the fact that there are many definitions of phenomenology, one common characteristic emerges and that is that phenomenology focuses on the lived experiences of the individuals. This fact also comes to the foreground when looking at the definitions of various authors as cited in Groenewald (2004:5), namely, Welman, Kruger and Mitchell who state that “the phenomenologists are concerned with understanding social and psychological phenomena from the perspectives of people involved”. Gubrium and Holstein (in Groenewald, 2004:5) refer to phenomenological research as “…toward the ways in which ordinary members of society attend to their everyday lives”; and finally, Greene as well (in Groenewald, 2004:5) confirms that a researcher applying phenomenology is concerned with the lived experiences of the people.
In summary, phenomenological research refers to an inductive, descriptive qualitative methodology which emphasises the need to explore a phenomenon through direct interaction with it and the suspension of all personal biases through what Husserl (in Wojnar & Swanson, 2007:173) calls “bracketing” – the process which consciously and actively seeks to strip away prior experiential knowledge and personal bias so as not to influence the description of phenomenon at hand (Wojnar
Swanson, 2007:173). To put it in practical terms, this boils down to the researcher not embarking upon an in-depth literature review prior to investigation, in order to neutralise biases, preconceptions and personal knowledge (Deutscher in Wojnar & Swanson 2007:173; Grove, Burns & Gray, 2013:703). From the phenomenological point of departure, “reality” (i.e. the experiences, challenges and coping resources of being working wives and stay-at-home husbands in this case) can be understood in a fully nuanced fashion if the participants’ first-hand experiences are perceived to be socially constructed within their everyday world as if seen through their own eyes (Denscombe, 2007:77-79)
The researcher made use of the recognised qualitative data analysis approach of Tesch (i.e. the eight steps proposed by Tesch in Creswell, 2009:186) as given in Chapter 1 of this report and reiterated in Chapter 2 (see section 2.8) for conducting a content analysis on the data collected in order to ensure that the empirical evidence to be reported on is representative of reality. The researcher employed an independent coder who also performed a content analysis of the data presented in this chapter independently from the researcher. Once the processes of data analysis were completed, the researcher and independent coder undertook a four hour consensus discussion facilitated by the researcher’s supervisor to compare and consolidate the themes, sub-themes and categories which emerged.

CHAPTER 1  INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL ORIENTATION TO THE STUDY
1.1 Introduction and background, problem formulation and motivation for the study
1.2 Problem formulation
1.3 Motivation for the study
1.4 Theoretical framework
1.5 Research question
1.6 Research methodology
1.7 Research design
1.8 Research methods
1.9 Method of data collection
1.10 Method of analysis
1.11 Method of data verification
1.12 Ethical considerations
1.13 Defining of key concepts
1.14 Outline of the research report
1.15 Conclusion
CHAPTER 2 A DESCRIPTION OF APPLICATION OF THE QUALITATIVE RESEARCH PROCESS FOR EXPLORING THE RESEARCH TOPIC UNDER INVESTIGATION
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The qualitative research approach
2.3 Research design
2.4 Research methods
2.5. The preparation of the recruited participants for the data collection and the methods of data collection employed
2.6 Data analysis
2. 7 Method of data verification
2.8 Ethical considerations
2.9 Conclusion
CHAPTER 3 THE PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS COMPLEMENTED BY A LITERATURE CONTROL ON THE EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND COPING RESOURCES OF WORKING WIVES AND STAY-AT-HOME HUSBANDS: A SOCIAL WORK PERSPECTIVE – PART ONE
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Demographic data on the research participants
3.3 Overview of themes, sub-themes and categories
3.4 Conclusion
CHAPTER 4  THE PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS COMPLEMENTED BY A LITERATURE CONTROL ON THE EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND COPING RESOURCES OF WORKING WIVES AND STAY-AT-HOME HUSBANDS: A SOCIAL WORK PERSPECTIVE – PART TWO
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Theme 7: Challenges experienced by working wives and stay-at-home husbands about fulfilling non-traditional marital roles
4.3 Theme 8: Participants’ perceptions of partner’s feelings and experiences regarding their changed roles and responsibilities
4.4 Theme 9: Benefits experienced by working wives, stay-at-home husbands and children being in a non-traditional marriage unit
4.5 Theme 10: Coping resources employed by working wives and stay-at- home husbands in order to cope with the demands placed on them in fulfilling the non-traditional marital roles
4.6 Theme 11: Needs experienced by working wives and stay-at-home husbands in relation to fulfilling non-traditional marital roles
4.7 Theme 12: Reactions of family, friends and community towards the couples’ non-traditional marriage
4.8 Theme 13: Suggestions and advice of working wives and stay-at-home husbands to other couples in non-traditional marital roles as well as personal needs expressed by these couples.
4.9 Conclusion
CHAPTER 5  SUMMARIES AND CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Summary of chapter 1
5.3 Limitations of the qualitative research process applied to investigate the research topic under discussion
5.4 Recommendations for social work practice, training and education and an agenda for further and future research
5.5 Conclusion
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THE EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND COPING RESOURCES OF WORKING WIVES AND STAY-AT-HOME HUSBANDS: A SOCIAL WORK PERSPECTIVE

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