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What's an Empirical Article?: STEP 3:
Check if your Answer is Correct

And the Answer Is...

ARTICLE 2 is the Empirical Article - and here are some things from the abstract that indicate it is empirical research:

  • It says "this study" - typically meaning the article is an empirical study and not a literature review.
  • It describes what data were used in the study - "Data from the 1994 International Social Survey Programme..."
  • It mentions "variables" and how they effect the main focus of the study - in other words, it is describing the independent variables (relative resources, time availability, and gender ideology) and their impact on the dependent variable (the division of housework in 22 industrialized countries).
  • It mentions "analysis" of the data and the "results" - typically clear indicators of empirical research.


Macro-Level Gender Inequality and the Division of Household Labor in 22 Countries 

Fuwa, Makiko. American Sociological Review 69 (2004): 751-767.

Abstract (summary)

While most previous studies focus on the effects of individuals' and couples' characteristics on the division of housework, this study argues that macro-level factors are equally important in the dynamics of housework distribution between spouses. Data from the 1994 International Social Survey Programme is used to examine whether macro-level gender inequality limits the effect of individual-level variables (relative resources, time availability, and gender ideology) on the division of housework in 22 industrialized countries. The results show that the equalizing effects of time availability and gender ideology are stronger for women in more egalitarian countries; women in less egalitarian countries benefit less from their individual-level assets. Additional analysis shows that other macro-level factors (economic development, female labor-force participation, gender norms, and welfare regimes) may also influence the division of housework. The results suggest that changes in individual-level factors may not be enough to achieve an equal division of housework without the reduction of macro-level gender inequality.


Congratulations on completing this tutorial on identifying empirical scholarly articles - and please email me if you have any questions!

What was Article 1?

ARTICLE 1 was a literature or research review. That means that the authors didn't actually analyze data but instead summarized what previous researchers had found on this topic. But, remember that these review articles can be very useful because they have references to any empirical articles they summarized - so you might track those empirical articles down. I call this "mining references" - here's a guide that gives tips on how to mine references.