Portfolio: Willis Portfolios Project Proposal

Module 6 and Final Project Data Set(s)

For the final project, I am deciding between two datasets. First, there is “Her Hat Was In the Ring: US Women Who Ran For Office Before 1920.” In undergrad, I took a class on Gender and the Presidency so I think it would be interesting to dive back into that research through data. The questions I am hoping to answer with this data set are 1) Were there any major similarities or differences between the women who ran for presidency? Meaning race, socioeconomic status, martial status, etc. 2) If there are distinct patterns, why were these women more likely to run? 3) Looking at the timeframe, were more women likely to run in certain years? Does this vary by party? Were there certain characteristics women who ran in the same year/time frame shared?

The second data set I am considering is “1930-1931 Time Diary of College Educated Women,” which is the one I worked with for the data critique. This data set is closer to the time-period that I prefer to research. It would be interesting to analyze and reframe the image of a housewife before the Cold War context which shapes our modern understanding of twentieth-century gender roles and female labor. Questions I have for this dataset are, 1) Were there regional differences between the time spent on tasks and the hours worked (occupation)? 2) Were there any patterns with age and the hours a woman worked professionally and at home? 3) Were there any notable patterns in the time-spent on tasks based on family status? Children or no children? Or age of children? With these questions, I am hoping to research larger patterns of female labor and the idea of housework as a legitimate form of labor.

I am leaning toward working with the dataset on women and the presidency as the data is based in demographics and seems a little more cut-and-dry for visualizations and interpretation. My worry with the second data set is that I will get lost in all of the little nuances, like how they calculated the time spent on a task etc. In both cases, I am hoping to use the data to analyze gender in the U.S. and provide a social history.

One reply on “Module 6 and Final Project Data Set(s)”

I may be misremembering, but I don’t think the Her Hat data has any info on race, and I don’t think there’s an easy way to get that info either. Otherwise those are good questions, and it may be worth your time adding a new column to categorize the level of office run for (eg, local/state/national) and see if there are trends there (did Temperence women focus on the local level? Did women with professional occupations run for higher level offices?)

For the Time Diary data, I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. From a quick glance through the about page, I believe that was all self-reported (ie, each woman literally kept a diary of how she spent her time), so it’s a little more reliable in that sense. It may be worth your time seeing if there’s been any other secondary research using that data, to see if anyone else has contextualized it.

To make the choice between the two, if you haven’t already, I’d do some preliminary playing in Tableau with each and see if anything compelling pops out. Ashlyn and Aimee are also thinking about the Her Hat data if you’re interested in a group project.

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