A ute drive to some hill vista to watch the sunset? A few beers/wines at the country pub? Skinny dipping at a secluded swimming hole?
How do rural men pursue dating and negotiate relationships? Is it any different from their townie counterparts?
That’s a topic that Otago University student Sophie Dix is investigating as part of her master’s thesis.
“I grew up in rural South Otago. I’ve always been interested in how living rurally has shaped not only my own life but the life of those around me,” Sophie says.
She’s cast around and found very little has been written on rural New Zealand within sociology.
“I really wanted to bridge that gap and explore the perspectives of rural men.”
The relative isolation of farms might drive different challenges/options.
“Sure, I’m not necessarily asking directly about isolation but I’m interested if that comes up,” Sophie says.
Other factors may include long hours worked/early starts and seasonal disruption, male/female imbalance in some rural areas, and distance from the usual urban date options (cinema, restaurants, night spots, etc).
“How do rural men even go about dating. Do they use Tinder, or those kind of things?”
She’s not being sexist in zeroing in on males. For a thesis study you have to keep the topic tightly focused and Sophie was struck by the lack of existing research material on rural men.
She needs at least at a dozen 18-30 year-old men who grew up in rural New Zealand. Interviews take no longer than an hour and can be done by Zoom. She has already spoken to four volunteers. Participants will be offered a supermarket voucher to reimburse them for their time.
If you’re interested, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Sophie will send you a more detailed information sheet.