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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

GuÐný Björk Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

The Nordic welfare model is known in the literature for its explicit support of the equal treatment of men and women in both family and gender equality policies as well as…

Abstract

The Nordic welfare model is known in the literature for its explicit support of the equal treatment of men and women in both family and gender equality policies as well as its achievements in these policy areas. Policy arguments have to promote gender equality and act in the best interest of the child, ensuring that the child access to care from both parents as well as to early childhood education and care. However, the knowledge of how the Nordic welfare states frame and promote active fatherhood remains fragmented.

The chapter asks whether the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) have developed similar policies on fatherhood or have taken different paths. Hence, the chapter examines three main policy areas affecting fatherhood: family law, family cash benefits and paid parental leave. Comparative perspective is applied and the chapter asks how the policies frame and promote active fatherhood while also looking into how fatherhood is shaped in interaction between policies, cultures and the daily practices of fathers.

Results show that while all Nordic governments promote a dual-earner/dual-carer social democratic welfare state model emphasizing the active participation of fathers in the care of their children, variations exist in policy and practices. Care policies and entitlements to a father quota of paid parental leave are a defining factor for enhancing fathers’ role in care of their children and the findings show that Nordic fathers are making use of their quota and gradually increasing their share in taking leave for the care of young children.

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Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

M. José González, Irene Lapuerta, Teresa Martín-García and Marta Seiz

Using data from a qualitative longitudinal sample of 31 non-traditional fathers-to-be interviewed in 2011 and then again in 2013, when the child was about 18 months old…

Abstract

Using data from a qualitative longitudinal sample of 31 non-traditional fathers-to-be interviewed in 2011 and then again in 2013, when the child was about 18 months old, we examine the relationship between prenatal anticipation and the development of ‘positive paternal involvement’ (i.e. an engaged, accessible and responsible type of fatherhood). We expect differences with regard to the antenatal development of a non-normative father identity to explain variations in subsequent paternal involvement. While there might be – and there often is – a discrepancy between fathers’ prenatal intentions and actual practices after childbirth, anticipating concrete needs and actively foreseeing particular paid work adaptations favour the development of a positive paternal involvement. Our analysis reveals the importance of anticipation during pregnancy – that is, the development of an identity as a father and of explicit plans for employment adaptations – in facilitating men’s greater implication in care. The empirical findings also show that non-traditional gender attitudes and favourable working conditions facilitate fathers’ involvement, yet are not enough in themselves to guarantee the development of a positive type of fatherhood covering the three noted dimensions of care. Achieving the latter in Spain will likely require the encouragement of shared parenting responsibilities through normative changes in workplaces, the revision of parental leave policies and the integration of fathers-to-be in prenatal education classes. Our research contributes to shedding new light on the elements that favour a positive paternal involvement, which has the potential to enhance both children’s well-being and gender equality.

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Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2020

Marina Kashina and Sergey Tkach

The purpose of this paper is to characterize such a feature of the gender contract of Russian men as fatherhood escape, as well as to determine the social consequences…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize such a feature of the gender contract of Russian men as fatherhood escape, as well as to determine the social consequences that it has for family relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was carried out in the design of qualitative sociology. The methodology is based on the theoretical construct of a gender contract, adapted to modern Russian society and the concept of social practices. The empirical base consists of six expert interviews with specialists in family psychology and conflictology.

Findings

The fatherhood escape in modern Russia is characterized by the depreciation of emotional labor; marking communications with children and caring for them as exclusively female activities; presentation of their employment in the public sphere as a legitimate reason for avoiding family problems; the active use by men of the technique of ignoring replicas of the interlocutor as a technique in communication with family members. This worsens the quality of intra-family communication, leads to the separation of family members from each other, especially children and leads to an increase in their deviant behavior.

Research limitations/implications

The design of a qualitative study makes it impossible to assess the level of prevalence and severity of the phenomenon, this study is a pilot. Its purpose is to record the very fact of the existence of fatherhood escape in everyday family (social) practices. Subsequent studies should be able to show the relationship between fatherhood escape and domestic violence, as well as the role of this trait of the male gender contract in the reproduction of toxic masculinity.

Originality/value

The phenomenon of fatherhood escape and its social consequences in modern Russia is under-studied. This study contributes to the description of this phenomenon on Russian materials and also reveals some of the social consequences of this feature of the male gender contract, in particular its effect on intra-family communication, increasing the risk of deviant behavior of children and complicating the fulfillment by women of the “working mother” gender contract.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 41 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2010

Catherine Richards Solomon

Purpose – Interest in work/family management among professors has lead to a plethora of research about female professors with children. Very little research exists about…

Abstract

Purpose – Interest in work/family management among professors has lead to a plethora of research about female professors with children. Very little research exists about professors who are fathers. What does exist is comparative in nature. In this chapter, the author takes an in-depth look at such men's work/family management.

Methodology/approach – This chapter presents research from a qualitative study with 25 fathers who are untenured tenure track assistant professors at research universities.

Findings – Most men state a commitment to and valuing of family above all else. Yet the two fatherhood ideologies of breadwinning and involved fatherhood privilege these men by allowing them substantial flexibility in their day-to-day lives and an affirmation of masculinity. At the same time, many struggle to minimize their work involvement to be involved with the day-to-day care of their children.

Originality/value of chapter – This study demonstrates how prevailing ideologies about fatherhood allow men a structural double privilege when constructing their work and family lives.

Details

Interactions and Intersections of Gendered Bodies at Work, at Home, and at Play
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-944-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Heidi Steinour and Sara E. Green

The goal of this chapter is threefold: to bring the context of disability into literature on fathering; to bring voices of fathers into scholarship on parenting children…

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this chapter is threefold: to bring the context of disability into literature on fathering; to bring voices of fathers into scholarship on parenting children with disabilities; and to examine what individual stories about a very particular kind of fatherhood might reveal about the cultural narrative of the good father, and the reflexive nature of cultural narratives and individual stories.

Methods and Approach

Transcripts of in-depth, life course interviews with 14 parents of seven young adults, and older teens with severe impairments associated with a variety of diagnoses were analyzed using narrative analysis strategies. Transcripts of the fathers’ interviews provided primary data and transcripts of the mothers’ interviews were used as supplemental material.

Findings

Fathers included in this study drew from normative notions of masculinity and widely circulating cultural narratives of fatherhood, even while participating in caregiving tasks that are at odds with this narrative. Five specific narrative tensions that highlight cultural understandings of the “good father” were evident in these stories: (1) evoking masculinity in the context of care work; (2) providing financial security in the context of the high cost of disability; (3) maximizing potential in the context of realistic expectations; (4) protecting in the context of uncertainty and helplessness; and (5) finding a “new normal” in the context of the unexpected.

Value/Importance

Findings add to what is known about mothering children with disabilities. Results also add a new dimension to fatherhood studies by illustrating how widely circulating cultural narratives of fatherhood are adapted in stories about fathering children with life-long assistance needs, and how individual stories might serve as a platform for social change.

Details

New Narratives of Disability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-144-5

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Krista M. Brumley

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the interplay between fathers’ perceptions of the workplace and how they enact fatherhood. Data were derived from qualitative…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the interplay between fathers’ perceptions of the workplace and how they enact fatherhood. Data were derived from qualitative in-depth interviews with seven elite, professional fathers employed at multinational manufacturing corporations in Detroit, Michigan. Fathers are highly educated, have a significant income and all but one have wives in the paid labour market. This study shows how the persistence of the ideal worker norm and penalties for using work-family policies (WFP) perpetuate the gendered division of paid and unpaid work. First, fathers who are ideal workers are rewarded; fathers who do not face criticism and obstacles to promotions. Second, management and supervisor’s discretion results in uneven access to WFP, penalizing fathers for asking and preventing most from using them. Third, fathers express desire to be ‘involved’, but their engagement is largely visible fatherhood.

This study extends our theoretical understandings of work, WFP and fatherhood from a distinct departure point – the elite fathers highlighted here have been parenting for at least three years, and live and work in circumstances that seemingly would allow them to disrupt normative expectations of work and family. The United States provides a unique backdrop to examine the navigation of competing work and family demands because reconciliation is largely left to employees and their families. Public and individual company policies are not enough; there must be a corresponding supportive family-friendly culture – supervisor support and penalty-free WFP – to disrupt gendered work and family.

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Abstract

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Olga Nešporová and Kristýna Janurová

The chapter draws on recent scientific findings on the participation of fathers in childcare, and the perception of the role of fathers by both men and women in the Czech…

Abstract

The chapter draws on recent scientific findings on the participation of fathers in childcare, and the perception of the role of fathers by both men and women in the Czech Republic. We apply a mixed method approach, combining qualitative data from longitudinal research on transition to motherhood and fatherhood (TransPARENT), which traced 16 parental couples for four years, with data from quantitative surveys on the topics of parenting and work–life balance. The data are examined for the incidence of breadwinner and the involved father models in Czech families. We focus on the earliest stage of the family life course, that is, when the children are aged between zero and four years. We show that fathers of young children still predominantly assume the breadwinner role, leaving most childcare to mothers. However, the growing number of parents expressing a preference for a more equal sharing of childcare indicates a shift in both the perception of fatherhood and the value placed on the active participation of fathers in early childcare in the Czech Republic. The main limitation of this text is that it only focuses on families with very young children. The future research should fill the gaps in contemporary knowledge of Czech families by addressing the division of roles, and particularly the roles of fathers, in households with school-age children. The chapter suggests that fathers’ greater involvement in childcare could be stimulated by policy measures such as the introduction of paternal leave or broadening the range of (public) childcare services for the youngest children.

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Vicki Helyar‐Cardwell

This paper's aim is to explore the available evidence on whether becoming a young father can enhance desistance.

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287

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to explore the available evidence on whether becoming a young father can enhance desistance.

Design/methodology/approach

Recent literature on young fathers in the justice system was reviewed, alongside the major desistance theories. The findings from the review were explored in five semi‐structured interviews with five young fathers under probation supervision.

Findings

Despite the correlation between young fatherhood and offending, very little research has been conducted into the impact of young fatherhood on desistance from crime. Overall, there are good indicators that fatherhood can be a motivational “hook” for enhancing desistance.

Originality/value

Very little is known about the experience or context of fatherhood amongst young male offenders, nor about the relation between young fatherhood and desistance from crime. This paper fills some of the gaps.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Orna Blumen

This study, inspired by the theory of the separate spheres, considers the social circumstances of employee benefits, examining the needs of fathers in dual-earner families…

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2762

Abstract

Purpose

This study, inspired by the theory of the separate spheres, considers the social circumstances of employee benefits, examining the needs of fathers in dual-earner families to cope with work and family responsibilities. The purpose of this paper is to explore how high-tech managers view the work-family interface of R & D engineers and analyzes the typical package of discretionary, non-financial, work-family employee benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on the phenomenological approach, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 22 private-sector managers disclosed their shared perception and experience, revealing the informal level at which underlying social principles becomes business strategy, often intuitively.

Findings

Values of gender are assimilated into the informal environment and reflected in the selection of benefits which have been effective in attracting labor in demand. Recently these values have been challenged by new ideas of more involved fatherhood, and these are inadequately addressed by the package of benefits.

Research limitations/implications

Larger samples from various socio-cultural settings are needed.

Practical implications

Managers are advised not to be blinded by the financial worth of discretionary employee benefits and consider how these meet the actual, as opposed to stereotypical, needs of employees and their family members. Observing social dynamics and considering non-financial consequences of employee benefits are essential for business-society continuity. Also, organizations of relatively low-social diversity should not alienate themselves from their multicultural environment.

Social implications

The study unveils the reciprocity between organizations and people. Traditional fatherhood is being contested and negotiated at the work-family interface, as embedded to ongoing changes in the social meaning of gender. That employee benefits help to maintain the masculinity of high-tech, reflects also on gender segregation in the workplace.

Originality/value

The study illustrates how businesses apply social values and describes how such values are processed and reinstated in society as employee benefits.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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