The author is attempting to achieve an understanding of what, if any, relationships exist between the inequalities of pay between obese and non-obese members of the working class. Further, she wishes to answer two specific questions in relation to the basic premise of the research study, being whether discrimination is to blame for the inequality that the study finds present and if there is a difference in the inequality based on gender. Mason builds on two previous studies, those of Cawley (2004) and Baum and Ford (2004), to further her argument and finds substantial evidence that not only is there an inequality based on weight discrimination, but a further discrimination when combined with gender. .
There are both strengths and weaknesses to this article and its findings. The most obvious strength is that it builds off of two main studies, as mentioned prior, and incorporates data and findings from several other studies to bolster her interpretation of the data that the study found. Mason appropriately places supportive and non-supportive arguments within the article to substantiate her findings. Namely, in her Results section, under the header of Obesity and Occupation, Mason states that her findings were in contrast to that of a previous study, Carr and Friedman (2005), and that further research would be needed to affirm either study. I find this to be a major strength as the author could simply refute the data of the previous study and setting hers as a new precedent, or standard, so to speak, but rather openly acknowledges that more research is needed to make any claims. .
A major weakness that I find with this article is the size of the sample. Mason uses the data initiated in previous studies and, collected as recently as 2008, from a sample group of 2,427. While this number is in part due to the lack of participant response, I believe the author could have utilized a larger sample size.