Getting Down and Dirty: Why Men Do Things Themselves

Doing something on your own has been a facet of masculinity since prehistoric times and continues to be so today. Of course, what men do themselves has changed a lot since then. Whether it’s chopping wood in Oregon, caulking yachts in Michigan, or even stopping by a pick and pull in Utah, men still do things themselves.

What’s the attraction to working on things without the pros?

The Why of DIY

In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the reasons men like getting their hands dirty comes out. According to the research, the reasons differ according to economic class.

For men in the upper classes, doing things themselves gives them a sense of self-fulfillment that they don’t get from their desk jobs. They like reconnecting with their “inner suburban craftsman” who enjoys the feeling of physical labor.

Those in lower economic classes, on the other hand, enjoy DIY projects because the activities allow them a way to assert themselves and give them an identity around the house. For working class Joes, DIY also allows them to show they care for their families by “providing better homes than otherwise possible.” If the kids need something fun to do in their yard, dad can build a swing set or a treehouse.

But times are changing, and do-it-yourself (DIY) is seemingly falling by the wayside.

An Age of Apps

In many ways, the decline of DIY has a lot to do with advances in technology. There seems to be an app for everything today. There are apps in case you need someone to replace a window pane, apps to call someone in case your tire blows or even apps for when a pipe leaks. If homeowners need something fixed, the reaction is not to open the toolbox but to open an app.

But there are also apps that help make DIY easier, including connecting with other DIY enthusiasts. Multiple forums and websites on the internet are readily available should you need help with, or to showcase, your latest DIY project.

But given how easy it is today to have someone else do something for you, why should men still do things themselves?

A Practical Need

man fixing the socketYou can spend a hefty sum on small projects at home. Some Americans even spend as much as $4,000 every year on home improvements. That’s money that could go toward your family’s vacation or fixing up your car. With DIY work on minor concerns, from window caulking to yard work, you’ll have more money in your pocket.

Another advantage to DIY work is control. If you like certain things done a certain way, then a DIY approach is advisable. It’s also good for the environment. After all, it makes more sense to fix something rather than buy a replacement.

Whether you do it after a day in the boardroom or the workroom, DIY allows a you to do what men have loved doing since prehistoric times: to look at something they made with their own hands, whether it’s for himself or his family, and feel good about a job well done.

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