Redefining Fatherhood

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Overview

Most fathers parent less than most mothers. Those fathers who do parent equally or more so than mothers are poorly supported by our society. For children this means a loss of adult care, as well as an ongoing and sharply defined differentiation between fathers and mothers. Fathers are not present in children's lives to a significant degree, if at all, or when they are present, they are often rendered socially invisible. For many men, their parenthood is defined as biological or economic, while a minority of men struggle against the presumption that they are not caregivers.

In Redefining Fatherhood, Nancy Dowd argues that this skewed social pattern is mirrored and supported by law. Dowd makes the case for reenvisioning fatherhood away from genes and dollars, and toward nurture. Integrating economic, social and legal aspects of fathering, she makes the case for focusing on social, nurturing behavior as the core meaning of fatherhood. In this nuanced and complex analysis, she explores the barriers to redefinition, including concepts of masculinity, the interconnections between fathers and mothers, male violence and homophobia.

Redefining Fatherhood offers a progressive view on how men, and society at large, can change understandings and practices of fatherhood.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Down (law, U. of Florida) offers a progressive discussion of the economic, social, and legal aspects of fathering, making a case for greater emphasis on the social, nurturing behavior involved in parenting to redefine the role men play in the lives of their children. She also explores the barriers to such redefinition, including concepts of masculinity, the interconnections between fathers and mothers, male violence, and homophobia. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814719251
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy E. Dowd is Director of the Center for Children and Families at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law and holds the David H. Levin Chair in Family Law. She is the author of several books, including Redefining Fatherhood (NYU Press).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Contemporary Fathers
Ch. 1 The Context of Fatherhood 19
Ch. 2 Fathers in Practice: The Conduct of Fatherhood 39
Ch. 3 Fatherhood, Work, and Family 48
Ch. 4 Subgroups of Fathers 58
Ch. 5 Summary 81
Pt. II Fathers in Law
Ch. 6 Constitutional Fathers 89
Ch. 7 Biological Fathers 114
Ch. 8 Economic Fathers 132
Pt. III Redefining Fatherhood
Ch. 9 A New Model 157
Ch. 10 Gender Challenges: Masculinities and Mothers 181
Ch. 11 Redefined Fatherhood 213
Epilogue 232
References and Bibliography 235
Index 277
About the Author 279
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