Making Sense of Fatherhood: Gender, Caring and Work

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As family and work demands become more complex, who is left holding the baby? Tina Miller explores men's experiences of fatherhood and provides unique insights into paternal caring, changing masculinities and men's relations to paid work. She focuses on the narratives of a group of men as they first anticipate and then experience fatherhood for the first time. Her original, longitudinal research contributes to contemporary theories of gender against a backdrop of societal and policy change. The men's journeys into fatherhood are both similar and varied, and they illuminate just how deeply gender permeates individual lives, everyday practices and societal assumptions around caring for young children. This book acts as a companion to Making Sense of Motherhood (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and, together, these innovative studies reveal how gendered practices around caring become enacted.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"First time fathers' expectations of what fathering might mean for them are translated into practices in the context of gendered normative constraints. Throughout this book gender theory and practice are skilfully interwoven resulting in new insights into how change in gender roles might happen." - Ulla Bjornberg, Professor, Department of Sociology, Gothenburg University

"A compelling account of first-time fathers' journey to fatherhood, set against the most nuanced and perceptive account of the 'gender traps' that await both men and women and impact so profoundly on their 'choice' of gender roles." - Adrienne Burgess, Director of Research, The Fatherhood Institute

"Building on her previous outstanding work on narratives of new mothering, Tina Miller's book on new fatherhood fully establishes her as a leading international scholar and expert on gendered transitions into parenthood for both women and men. This book, rooted in beautifully detailed ethnographic and longitudinal research, makes a major contribution to fathering scholarship. It will appeal to scholars and researchers in the social sciences, policy makers, NGOs working with gender issues, and- of course - to new fathers and mothers who will appreciate, and learn from, these honest stories of transition and change in the lives of new fathers." - Andrea Doucet, Professor of Sociology, Carleton University; author of Do Men Mother (2006) and Editor of Fathering

"The complexities and contradictions of becoming a father today are explored with considerable subtlety in this scholarly and accessible study. These detailed and vivid narratives look at the fathers' stress on 'being there' through a gendered lens and, in so doing, highlight continuities as well as changes." - David H. J. Morgan, Visiting Professor, Keele University

"Accessible, warm and authoritative; this perceptive account of first time fathering successfully articulates the micro-politics of family life and the macro-politics of public policy. Miller shows just how hard it is to 'un-do gender' as the demands of new parenthood confound expectations of equality for contemporary couples." - Rachel Thomson, Professor of Social Research, The Open University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521519427
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2010
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tina Miller is a Reader in Sociology at Oxford Brookes University. Her research on motherhood and fatherhood has led her to be engaged as an expert advisor by the World Health Organisation, to present her work at UNICEF headquarters in New York and to regularly participate in TV and radio programmes on issues related to motherhood, fatherhood and family life. She is the author of Making Sense of Motherhood (Cambridge University Press, 2005) which acts as a companion to this book.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Gendered lives and caring responsibilities: an overview; 2. Gendered discourses: men, masculinities and fatherhood; 3. Anticipating fatherhood: 'being there'; 4. Making sense of early fathering experiences; 5. A return to a new normal: juggling fathering and work; 6. Gendering practices: motherhood and fatherhood expectations and experiences; 7. Conclusions and reflections.
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