Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands / Edition 1

Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands / Edition 1

by W. Bradford Wilcox
     
 

In the wake of dramatic, recent changes in American family life, evangelical and mainline Protestant churches took markedly different positions on family change. This work explains why these two traditions responded so differently to family change and then goes on to explore how the stances of evangelical and mainline Protestant churches toward marriage and

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Overview

In the wake of dramatic, recent changes in American family life, evangelical and mainline Protestant churches took markedly different positions on family change. This work explains why these two traditions responded so differently to family change and then goes on to explore how the stances of evangelical and mainline Protestant churches toward marriage and parenting influenced the husbands and fathers that fill their pews.

According to W. Bradford Wilcox, the divergent family ideologies of evangelical and mainline churches do not translate into large differences in family behavior between evangelical and mainline Protestant men who are married with children. Mainline Protestant men, he contends, are "new men" who take a more egalitarian approach to the division of household labor than their conservative peers and a more involved approach to parenting than men with no religious affiliation. Evangelical Protestant men, meanwhile, are "soft patriarchs"—not as authoritarian as some would expect, and given to being more emotional and dedicated to their wives and children than both their mainline and secular counterparts. Thus, Wilcox argues that religion domesticates men in ways that make them more responsive to the aspirations and needs of their immediate families.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226897097
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Series:
Morality and Society Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
337
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1Religion : a force for reaction in the gender revolution?1
Ch. 2Mainline and conservative Protestant production of family and gender culture, 1950-199521
Ch. 3Family and gender attitudes among mainline and conservative Protestants74
Ch. 4Soft patriarchs, new fathers : religion, ideology, and fatherhood97
Ch. 5Domestic rites and enchanted relations : religion, ideology, and household labor132
Ch. 6Tending her heart : religion, ideology and emotion work in marriage157
Ch. 7Conclusion : family modernization, the domestication of men, and the futures of fatherhood190
App. : data, methods, and tables213
Notes261
List of works cited299
Index323

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