Sharing the care of children in families is increasingly becoming the norm in modern-day society as more mothers enter paid work and government campaigns endeavour to increase the number of men working in childcare. However, running alongside debates of gender imbalance in childcare, there has also been mounting anxiety from the media and public about the risks of child abuse, often perceived as being mostly perpetrated by men and calling for firmer regulation of men's involvement with children.
This book asks whether men's care for children, both as fathers and practitioners, actually differs at all from the care provided by mothers and female carers? In what ways do men and concepts of masculinity need to change if they are to play a greater role in the care of children or are such societal perceptions based on outdated gender stereotypes? Bringing together cutting-edge theory, up-to-date research and current practice, this book analyses the role of both fathers and male professionals working with children and highlights the implications of this for future policy and practice. It also examines dominant notions of masculinity and representations of male carers in the media and popular culture, asking how our societal expectations may need to evolve if men are to play an equal role in the care of children as demanded by current policy and wider social developments.
Martin Robb is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University, UK. His research has focused principally on issues of gender, identity and care, and has included studies of men working in childcare, fathering identities and young masculinities. Before joining The Open University he worked in community education projects with socially disadvantaged groups and communities.
1. Images and Representations
2. Discourses and Debates
3. Ideas and Perspectives
4. Identities and Experiences