The objective of this chapter is twofold: (1) to analyse meanings and practices regarding the work-family balance of fathers from different social and cultural backgrounds and (2) to explore how infancy experts and workplace cultures can influence the paid work and childcare reconciliation practices of native and immigrant fathers in Italy, in particular, from the point of view of fathers making the transition to parenthood. Little attention is paid to the role of infancy experts and workplace cultures in shaping fathers’ reconciliation perspectives. Moreover, little research has been dedicated to parenting practices among immigrant families from the fathers’ point of view. We investigate how parenthood is perceived and experienced by native and immigrant fathers, focussing on cultural differences with regard to beliefs about gender roles, children’s needs and childbearing. Our work is based on a qualitative analysis of 61 qualitative interviews with fathers, born in Italy, Romania, Peru and Morocco living in (the north of) Italy, carried out between 2010 and 2015. The results show how both infancy experts and workplace cultures tend to reinforce the widespread hegemonic ideals on ‘good father as provider’ both for natives and for immigrant fathers, despite their different socio-cultural backgrounds.
This chapter stems from the project ‘Practices and Policies Around Parenthood. Work-family Balance and Childcare in Multicultural Contexts’ coordinated by Manuela Naldini and co-funded by the Compagnia di San Paolo and the University of Turin. It was also part of the TransParent network coordinated by Daniela Grunow (Goethe University) and Marie Evertsson (Stockholm University).
Musumeci, R. and Santero, A. (2018), "The Influence of Infancy Experts and Workplace Cultures on Work–Childcare Reconciliation Practices among Native and Immigrant Fathers in Italy", Musumeci, R. and Santero, A. (Ed.) Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 155-181. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1530-353520180000012007
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