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Thursday 12 April 2012 at 14:00 - 15:30 FAMILIES, RELATIONSHIPS, LIFECOURSE 2


FATHERING AND GRANDFATHERING Coltart, C., Henwood, K.


ROGER STEVENS 15 Cardiff University


Studying Family Legacies, Transmissions and Change-in-the-making: Intergenerational (Dis)Continuity in the Situated and Subjective Experience of Transitions to First-time Fatherhood


This presentation is based around the work of a forthcoming paper (Coltart and Henwood, 2012) and builds on prior research conducted as part of the Timescapes network by members of the Cardiff ‘Men as Fathers’ team. A qualitative longitudinal (QL) and psychosocial strategy is presented for studying intergenerational continuities and changes in men’s experiences of fathering over time, taking as its analytical focus the dynamic nexus of social, cultural and psychological forces mediating and energising men’s situated and subjective experiences of becoming fathers. Attention is drawn to how a range of perspectives can be usefully brought to bear in making sense of QL data by responding to questions about the nature and extent of generational changes in masculinity and fathering and exploring the complex currents and countercurrents (re)shaping fathers’ identities, involvements and life course trajectories. Reflexive evaluations of socio-cultural and economic change and transformation; cultural sociological accounts of the individual and collective nature of intergenerational transmission; and psychosocial work on the complexities of gendered subjectivities and relationships in changing times and contexts all help to elucidate processes that generate distance between or reconnect current and previous generations of fathers. The mediation of such processes by contexts such as class highlights intergenerational transmissions as important sources of struggle and coherence in times of social change. The long view offered by QL research illuminates the significance men place on reaching settlements with their family legacies and the salience of these concerns for policy/practice interventions around engaging men in fathering.


Griggs, J. Changing Conceptions of the Good Father: Provider, Protector, Disciplinarian


It is widely acknowledged that there has been a shift in the contribution fathers are making, and are expected to make, in the rearing of their children. The study on which this paper is based combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies to examine changes in the social meaning of fatherhood through the experiences of two generations of men. The paper itself focuses on findings from the project’s qualitative component looking specifically at the changing salience of three dominant historical models in the culture of fatherhood - the provider, protector and disciplinarian roles.


Study findings build a picture of how fathering has evolved in the contemporary period, suggesting a stepped but pronounced transformation in what it means to be a father, with greater sharing in both material and nurturing components of parenting. Today’s fathers have a greater awareness of societal and partner expectations of involvement, but these are coupled with a greater personal desire for a closer relationship with their children. This desire impacts on the significance of the provider, protector and disciplinarian roles - broadening definitions beyond traditional conceptions of breadwinning, watchfulness and reprimand towards those more consistent with generative fathering. Changes identified across the models emphasise the importance of the socio-historical context in shaping men’s behaviour and identities.


Chowbey, P., Salway, S., Clarke, L. Sheffield Hallam University Towards a Fathering Framework for Diverse Societies: Insights from British Asian Fathers


Current theoretical frameworks that address fathering remain primarily informed by the dominant White middle- class cultures of America and Britain.


Building upon Palkovitz's work as the most significant development since


Lamb et al.'s early influential framework, the paper argues the need for further development to accommodate the ethno-cultural diversity in family forms and parenting practices that is now commonplace within many advanced industrial societies.


The paper draws on a high quality UK study involving 69 fathers and 33 mothers of


Bangladeshi Muslim, Pakistani Muslim, Gujarati Hindu and Punjabi Sikh background. Using rich empirical data, the paper illustrates ways in which Palkovitz's framework can be expanded to better reflect diversity in fathering contributions and the contextual factors that shape fathering behaviours. Frameworks that are less normative and more responsive to diversity should help researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to better understand and meet the needs of all fathers.


University of Oxford


189


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