The experience of fatherhood is fraught with conflict and ambivalence. On the one hand "new" or "involved" fatherhood represents the opportunity for men to express their nurturing feelings, taking an equal role in parenting and being there for their children. On the other hand, men are still expected to participate fully in the economic sphere and act as providers, constructing their identities as men through their work role. Constructing Fatherhood provides an innovative and interdisciplinary analysis of the social, cultural, and symbolic meanings of fatherhood in contemporary western societies. The authors draw on poststructuralist theory to analyze the representation of fatherhood in the expert literature of psychology, sociology, health sciences, and popular media. MenÆs own accounts of first-time fatherhood are also drawn upon, including four individual case studies.
This book will be of interest to students and academics in the fields of gender and masculinity studies, the sociology of the family, cultural studies, social psychology, social work, social policy, and nursing as well as to practitioners working with families in the areas of health and welfare.