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Developing Father Inclusivity: Concerns and Practical Solutions. Claire Fraser and Abigail Locke Consult Research & University of Huddersfield. Workshop Outline. Setting the context & literature review Group Exercise – assessment of father inclusivity in own organisation

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developing father inclusivity concerns and practical solutions

Developing Father Inclusivity: Concerns and Practical Solutions

Claire Fraser and Abigail Locke

Consult Research & University of Huddersfield

workshop outline
Workshop Outline
  • Setting the context & literature review
  • Group Exercise – assessment of father inclusivity in own organisation
  • Reflections from research within antenatal provision
  • Group Exercise – implementing father inclusivity
  • Sharing views and evaluating success
fathers in the literature
Fathers in the literature
  • Part-time, bumbling assistant, baby entertainers (Sunderland, 2004, 2006)
  • Father as provider discourse deeply entrenched (Dienhart, 1998)
  • Craig (2006) childcare – mother main carer
  • Doucet (2006): do men mother?
group exercise
Group Exercise
  • Current level of father inclusivity in your organisation
  • Experiences of trying to develop father inclusivity
  • Barriers to achieving father inclusivity
  • Problems encountered – within and across agencies
fathers in antenatal classes locke budds forthcoming
Fathers in antenatal classesLocke & Budds (forthcoming)

3 main themes arose:

  • 1. Father as mother’s carer
  • 2. Father as secondary parent
  • 3. ‘Blokes’ will do it differently
father as mother s carer
Father as mother’s carer
  • Fathers role as carer to mother – spotting ‘baby blues’ - “depressed dear”
  • Implies father needs to be instructed to seek assistance
fathers as secondary parent
Fathers as secondary parent
  • Fathers role constructed as fulfilling task that mother doesn’t want to fulfil:
    • ‘I definitely think that’s a dad’s job, dealing with the nails’ (lines 16-17)
  • Father’s role in parenting and role is the mother’s decision and is mostly assigned when it is convenient for her
  • Father is constructed as a consolatory or ‘second-class’ parent
blokes will do it differently
‘Blokes will do it differently’
  • Idea of shared parenting - ‘guys are just as good’
  • Leaving baby with father deemed as problematic – Mother gets to decide when
  • ‘right way’; ‘best way’; ‘blokes will do it differently’ (class leader constructions)
changing role of fathers
Changing role of fathers
  • ‘Fatherhood’ as an institution is changing
  • Lupton and Barclay (1997) mother’s role easier to define (cf. Doucet (2006) Do men mother?)
  • Societal/cultural constraints on fatherhood
  • Wall & Arnold (2007): the contemporary culture of fatherhood is not one of shared parenting and it can not be so until social expectations regarding parenting roles change…
  • Much talk of the ‘new father’, but we still have a long way to go
group exercise1
Group Exercise
  • Implementing father inclusivity
  • Overcoming the barriers
  • Developing practical solutions
  • Measuring success in achieving father inclusivity
discussion topics
Discussion topics
  • Single father
  • Stay-at-home-father
  • Teenage father
  • Professional father
summing up
Summing Up
  • Group experiences – sharing ideas
  • How are we doing? Ideas for evaluating success in achieving father inclusivity
  • Any questions…

Claire Fraser, Consult Research

claire@consultresearch.co.ukwww.consultresearch.co.uk

Abigail Locke, University of Huddersfield

a.locke@hud.ac.ukhttp://www2.hud.ac.uk/hhs/staff/shumal2.php