Abstract: Gender Roles and Community Participation in Chaguite Nicaragua.

Hi my name is Cait, and I am a Freshman here at William and Mary pursuing a double major in Sociology and Government. I am very excited to have the opportunity to conduct research in my first year here at the college and I look forward to traveling to Nicaragua this May. Using the Community-Based Participatory Model, I will be partnering with the community of Chaguite Nicaragua to understand more about gender roles and the characteristics of those roles in regards to the level and quantity of community participation. Through prompt dialogue and interviews I will ask the women in the community questions centered around women community participation and decision-making, health concerns, and comparisons in leadership and authority they see or experience between men and women in the community. In a three stage process, beginning with a focus group activity, then household interviews, and lastly personal interviews, my goal is to understand and record how gender and gender roles influence the decision-making process in community activities and the level and quantity that women participate in those activities. Through the CBPR method, I will then be able to work with community members to formulate questions and address concerns that women have in the community. In the long term my goal is to understand gender roles in the community to promote inclusiveness between the community members, increase solidarity in the decision-making process, and increase community participation.

A Conclusion of Research, but not of Curiosity

As I write this final post, I cannot help but marvel at how quickly this summer seems to have passed by, and how much information I was able to gather within the past three months. I think mentioned in my an earlier blog post about the remarkable response rate to my survey, but even then I failed to anticipate the wealth of information I would receive from such a large sample size.

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Deadlines, Discussions, and Data

After closing the survey on Friday, July 18 at 11:59 pm, I’m overall very pleased with my base sample. Following a month-long distribution period, the survey closed with a total of 367 responses at a response rate of 21%. Of those responses, 303 were considered completely usable. I attribute the large response rate the result of two factors. First, individualized emails containing the survey link were sent out to each participant, rather than to all participants at once in a large bulk email. This personal aspect helped form a rapport with each participant, and prevented these emails from being marked as spam. Second, emails were sent out exclusively after work hours (after 5:00 pm) during the five-day business week. This ensured that emails containing the survey would be one of the first emails in each participant’s inbox the following day, as opposed to buried under other emails accrued during the workday or over the weekend. ¬†While both methods were slightly unorthodox, I believe that this rationale ultimately paid off, as evidenced by the large number of responses.

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A Survey of the Situation

Well, the time has come for yet another transition in the course of my research. In my last post, I noted some of the challenges I encountered when collecting contact information, particularly the disproportionate amount of New England contacts I recorded compared to other regions.

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A Virtual Trip Across America

Hello, everybody. I hope that this past Memorial Day weekend each of you had the chance to relax and took a moment to appreciate our troops. While many Americans were traveling across the country for Memorial Day celebrations, I was completing a virtual trip of my own.

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