Those "do-it-yourself" projects that office-bound males enjoy on the weekend
may be enhancing their self-image, a new study finds.
"For upper-class men, DIY home improvement is a therapeutic escape from the
burdens of knowledge work, allowing them to experience a blue-collar fantasy by
working with their hands," Risto Moisio, of California State University, Long
Beach, and colleagues said in a news release from the Journal of Consumer
Research, which published the findings online.
How the study was done
For the study, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with men in
different social classes to determine how DIY projects help them develop their
For upper-class, white-collar males, these activities appear to offer a way
of expressing their creative side, the investigators found. In contrast to their
day jobs, home-renovation projects allow these men to unleash their inner
craftsman and enjoy some physical labour while getting a sense of
self-fulfilment in the process.
Lower-class men often have different motivations, according to the study
For men who don't make a big salary, home-improvement projects may enable
them to assert their identity as the "family handyman" and to express a
masculine form of caring for their families by providing them with nicer homes
despite a lack of money, the study authors explained.
"Lower-class men treat DIY home improvement as a chore rather than a
therapeutic outlet," the researchers said in the news release. "Projects around
the house represent an essential part of their male territory and housework
Underwriters Laboratories, a product-safety testing organisation, offers safety
tips for do-it-yourselfers.
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