Children and child-centeredness as social mechanisms in father-to-father relations during parental leave

  • Datum: –15.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 6-0022
  • Föreläsare: Tobias Axelsson, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University
  • Arrangör: Centrum för genusvetenskap
  • Kontaktperson: Nicole Ovesen
  • Seminarium

This presentation explores, from a feminist and critical realist perspective, whether and how children and child-centeredness function as social mechanisms in father-to-father relations.

Abstract: This presentation is based on an article that is currently under review. It explores, from a feminist and critical realist perspective, whether and how children and child-centeredness function as social mechanisms in father-to-father relations. Based on observations of so-called fathering spaces, that is, a parenting support setting and a meeting place for fathers on parental leave in Sweden, and interviews with fathers attending such milieus, the article contributes to previous feminist research on men to men-relations, and to research on father-to-father relations and fathering practices. The article finds that relations between men, as fathers, in fathering spaces, are built on reciprocal care through four foundations: room arrangements, daily routines, conversations, and embodied practices. These results are discussed in relation to gendered patterns regarding the relation between childcare and masculinities: masculinisation of childcare; incorporation of childcare in high-status constructions of masculinities; and de-gendering of childcare. Further, crucial social mechanisms – the physical presence of children and spatial-ideological aspects of child-centeredness – set up conditions enabling father-to-father relations to be based on care and dependency rather than domination. Such insights can be used in order to develop parenthood policies, in which men need to be explicitly targeted on the basis of their caring capabilities.

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