Comparison and Contrast, Essay Example

Argument: Popular press articles use different focus than academic research papers. There is a difference found in the language, arguments, structure and data published.


The New York Times article is easy to understand for average readers; uses plenty of quotes from stay-at-home fathers to allow the audience to connect with their feelings and understand their situation. Williams (2012) uses well-known expressions, like “Betty Draper disease” to make the social impact of the tendency easier to comprehend. The title also targets general audience: “Just Wait Until Your Mother Gets Home”. While the popular press article highlights the statements of men who are happy with their full time “stay-at-home” role, the academic article focuses more on the challenges of the situation.

The scholarly article published in the Journal of Career Development (Dunn,  Rochlen, and O’Brien,  2013) provides full statistical data. The structure and length indicates that it is not aimed for general audience, therefore, it uses academic language that assumes some level of pre-existing knowledge of sociological trends and theories. Still, there are some major common focus points that both articles investigate.


The same data is published by both articles. The popular article states the same statistical details:”In the last decade, though, the number of men who have left the work force entirely

to raise children has more than doubled, to 176,000, according to recent United

States census data”, as the scholarly article, in contrast states the same fact with more punctuality to increase credibility and provide evidence. “The number of stay-at-home

fathers in the United States tripled from49,000 in 1996 to 158,000 in 2008 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009)”


Both of the articles are focusing on the effects of the shifting of breadwinning and caretaking roles in today’s society. The articles focus on current sociological issues. While the popular New York Times article focuses more on individual dads’ experience, the academic article also highlights the role of women acting as breadwinners. From this perspective, the academic article provide provides more dimensions and information. Both of the articles focus on, however’ “mommy guilt” and the disadvantages of work-family relationships.


The above comparison has revealed that there is a difference in targeted audience, the depth of the article and scope between journal and popular articles.


Dunn, M., Rochlen, A., O’Brien, K. (2013) Employee, Mother, and Partner: An Exploratory         Investigation of Working Women With Stay-at-Home Fathers. Journal of Career       Development. 40(1) 3-22

Williams, A. (2012) Just Wait Until Your Mother Gets Home. New York Times, August 10, 2012