David Anstiss is a Ph.D. student at Waikato University, based on the North Shore. A member of the Men's Shed North Shore, David is conducting research for his thesis on the Shed - in which he will examine the dynamics, interactions and benefits of Shed life. His project is entitled "Shed Conversations"....in his own words:
"I am a student with the University of Waikato and have been researching the Shed for the last year and a half. My aim is to understand—from the viewpoint of a young academic with little experience of skilled labour—what goes on at Men’s Sheds and why they are so important.
At this point, I would like to thank members for accepting me as a member and for giving me opportunities to participate in the shed’s activities (mostly sweeping and cleaning grease from machinery).
So far, I have been considering my own experiences at the shed, i.e. learning new skills, developing friendships with men I would otherwise not have met, and getting valued breaks from the responsibilities of being a new father.
However, I am more interested in hearing your stories of the shed, particularly about the importance of the shed and of your experiences there. I have already asked some members to participate in group discussions and interviews, which have been very insightful.
If you are interested in having your say about the shed by taking part in a one-on-one interview, a group discussion, or even just an informal chat about the shed, I can be found there on Wednesdays for most of the day. I plan to post updates of my findings in future newsletters so feel free to chat to me about these or to challenge my thinking.
I will be using the information I collect to write a Ph.D. thesis on the shed as well as writing articles for academic journals, which I plan to make available to the shed as they are published. Hopefully these articles will gain recognition for the work being done at the shed and the importance of the shed’s continued existence. As such, I’m hoping that this research will be of use to the Trustees in obtaining funding in the future.
I would like to assure you that I respect confidentiality and will keep the identities of anyone participating in the research anonymous by removing any identifying information in any published materials. You are free to decline to participate.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding my research, feel free to contact me via mobile (0212654527) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)".