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Type: Journal article
Title: Ideological dilemmas in accounts of primary caregiving fathers in Australian news media
Author: Hunter, S.
Augoustinos, M.
Riggs, D.
Citation: Discourse, Context and Media, 2017; 20:116-123
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 2211-6958
Statement of
Sarah C. Hunter, Martha Augoustinos, Damien W. Riggs
Abstract: Norms and expectations regarding fathers are changing, with fathers now expected to be more involved in caregiving. One consequence of this is an increase in fathers who assume the primary caregiving role. The study reported in this paper involved a discourse analysis of 176 Australian newspaper articles that focused on primary caregiving fathers. Three recurring interpretative repertoires pertaining to primary caregiving fathers were identified, suggesting contradictory and dilemmatic accounts of this role. These were: (1) advocating for primary caregiving fathers, (2) comparing the past and present, and (3) barriers to father involvement. Overall, when describing the ‘‘typical” father who provides primary care, the articles promoted the evolving cultural ideal of fathers as involved and nurturing caregivers, however they nonetheless justified continued gendered inequalities in parenting. Therefore, despite claims that new models of fathering are encouraged and promoted in western cultures, the analysis demonstrates that media accounts construct and reproduce hegemonic masculinity. The paper concludes by suggesting that a more critical lens should be applied to claims of support for greater father involvement, as despite structural and social support in favour of involved fathering, this support is comprised of contradictory elements that simultaneously undermine this emerging ideal.
Keywords: Involved fathering; hegemonic masculinity; primary caregiving fathers; ideological dilemmas; contemporary fathering
Rights: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.dcm.2017.09.005
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Psychology publications

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