This book provides an account of fatherhood and changing parental roles in Sweden and Poland. It uses a comparative perspective to show what men understand a father's role to be, and how they seek to live up to it. Fathering, the author argues, is a social phenomenon grounded in cultural patterns of parenting, gender roles and models of masculinity, and also shaped by family policy. Being a father today, she demonstrates, is longer connected solely with being the main breadwinner. Rather, it has become increasingly common for fathers to take on duties traditionally regarded as the domain of women. This means that men often face conflicting expectations based on different models of fatherhood. The aim of this thought-provoking book is to track these models, analysing their origins and their consequences for gender order. It will appeal to students and scholars of gender studies, the sociology of families and social policy studies.
Katarzyna Suwada is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Sociology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland. Her research interests focus on family life, gender roles and masculinity.
Introduction.- Chapter 1. Fatherhood and change: an overview.- Chapter 2. Researching fatherhood: methodological challenges.- Chapter 3. Fatherhood as a political issue: the case of Sweden and Poland.- Chapter 4. 'It's my responsibility.': definitions of fatherhood.- Chapter 5. 'I couldn't really work less": fathers facing social expectations.- Chapter 6. 'I had no idea it is so hard': practices of fatherhood.- Chapter 7. Conclusions: Fathers, Gender & the Welfare State.