While systematically observing a social situation for approximatly one week, I have
observed some common patterns of interaction and have rendered some possible explanations
for these patterns of behavior. While there were some irregular observations, most of the
behavior was consistent with that of my hypotheses. My research question involves the
behavior of males versus females in the setting of a workout room or gym. I hyptohesized that
males are more likely to interact with each other than females are, and males are more likely to
use weights than females, while females are more likely to utilize aerobic activity machines
more than males. All of these hypothesis will be further supported within the basis of my
My basic observation technique included using qualitative research methods and
concentrating on how people interacted with each other, how they themselves acted , and how
other people reacted to them.
This included using the participant observation technique where
the researcher participates in the activities of the unit under study.
All of my observations took place in both the Bream Wright Hauser weight room and
the ________________ workout room. I chose to observe both of these locations because of
the varitey of people who could be observed and the type of people who used both of these
facilities. In the Bream Wright Hauser weight room, there are three step machines, and a bike
located along the left wall, and the whold right side of the room includes weight machines to
work various parts of the body. In the middle of the room and to the back are the free weights
and weight benches. This room includes mostly weights and very few aerobic machines.
the______________ weight room, however, there are very few weight and an abundance of
aerobic machines. One small corner contains weights and the rest of the room includes several
step machines, bikes, and other aerobic machines. One observation which I noticed was that
while the Bream Wright Hauser room included predominatly males with a few females,
including myself, the ____________room comtained all women and no men. I think this is
owed to the contents of the room. Even in Bream Wright Hauser, the small number of women
tended to use the aerobic machines. This leads me to one observation that the women are
much more likely to use the aerobic machines than men.
Also, because there was not a single
man in the ___________room, I also concluded that men tend to utilize the weights much
more frequently than the aerobic machines.
The situation which I observed is located on the Gettysburg College campus in
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The participants include men and women in the age range of
approximatly 18 – 23 who constitute a social aggregate. The number of participants vary from
night to night and depending on the time of the day in which the observation is taken. The
characteristics of the participants also vary but include both men and women from mostly
middle class, white backgrounds who come together for the common goal of physical fitness.
The patterns of interaction which I observed basically coinsided with the statements in