Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Fathers, Fathering, and Fatherhood across Cultures: Convergence or Divergence?
    (University College Dublin. School of Applied Social Science, 2015-05) ;
    Parenting research in large-scale societies initially focused on White, North American, and middle-class mothers and fathers. Building on these roots, interest in and research on fathers, fathering, and fatherhood became more catholic and spread worldwide. Extant research is now available from cultures in every continent, but the coverage within and between societies varies widely. Uneven coverage makes cross-cultural comparisons difficult but when possible they often challenge previous assumptions made in Western cultures. For instance, physical play as an essential hallmark of father interactive style is not found in Taiwan, India, Africa, and Thailand and few differences are found in play activities between mothers and fathers or by gender. Approaches to fathering vary widely from a primary concern with being a disciplinarian and provider to those focusing on nurturing child care with many possible types and combinations occurring in between. Moreover, national variances in Western approaches to fathering, and especially to father involvement in the early years post-partum, are increasingly mediated by the availability and non-availability of ‘father-friendly’ social policies, such as paid parental leave (Rush and Seward, 2014). Non-Western fathering varies more dramatically than fathering practices in the Western world, which has in the main, albeit not uniformly, dismantled the patriarchal power of fathers over the course of the 20th century (Therborn, 2004) and replaced kinships or familial based responses to child welfare and social protection with welfare state arrangements (Sommestad, 1998). Almost all research findings on fathers across cultures since 1990 suggests some change in fatherhood in the direction of expecting greater involvement by fathers, yet changes in fathering or the conduct of fathers has been slower and lagged behind. Although, in some Western countries, especially the Nordic countries, the gap between social expectation and actual father involvement is lessening because of the introduction of father-friendly parental leave policies (Rush, 2015). The history, tradition, economy, and geography for each culture play important roles in this change and the uneven rates of change across cultures or lack thereof. For fatherhood evidence suggest a growing convergence of expectations but fathering practices are still very diverse or exhibiting a convergence to divergence.
  • Publication
    The Two Worlds of Father Politics in the Republic of Ireland: Swedish versus American Influences
    (University College Dublin. School of Applied Social Science, 2009-04)
    Abstract  This paper contributes to the field of comparative research on fatherhood practice and policy. Specifically, the paper promotes knowledge of welfare state variations by providing a theoretical model of 'two worlds' of father politics, as exemplified by the USA and Sweden.  By adopting a historical approach, the analysis identifies a long-standing divergence between neo-patriarchal trends in the USA and de-patriarchalisation trends in Sweden. In addition, the study finds that neo-patriarchal perspectives on fatherhood have amplified under the American neo-liberal social policy paradigm of welfare to work.  Ireland as other countries is increasingly open to neo-liberal trends in welfare state development. In this study, analysis of Irish social policy debates identifies a shift in the importance of fatherhood research to father and family policies. By studying the historical process in Ireland through key policy documents, the paper illustrates how policy preferences are legitimised through a process of drawing upon selected national and international fatherhood research findings. A key finding is that Irish social policy has consistently failed to consider the Swedish alternative of gender egalitarianism, family pluralism and generous parental leave entitlements.  Instead, what hold favour in Ireland are American conservative neo-patriarchal influences that seek to protect patriarchal familism within marriage against social and demographic change.
  • Publication
    The Social Politics of Social Work: Anti-Oppressive Social Work Dilemmas in Twenty First Century Welfare Regimes
    (Oxford University Press, 2014-09) ;
    This article sets controversies surrounding Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) theorisations in British social work debates in an international welfare regime framework. The article suggests that those authors on both sides of the pro and anti perspectives have consistently shared an empirical agenda to establish and respond to the perspectives of social service users for public policy debates concerning social work reforms. However, rather than dodging the ideological controversies surrounding AOP, the article adopts an international comparative framework to contrast and compare how social work practice ideologies are shaped and influenced by welfare state ideologies. Specifically the article illustrates that in liberal welfare regimes such as Great Britain and Ireland, professional social work practice identities and ideologies have developed in a context of residual selective welfare ideologies and asymmetrically from social care work and training.  On the other hand in universal welfare regimes such as Norway and Sweden professional social work practice identities and ideologies have traditionally been embedded or closely allied to social care practices identities and ideologies. We contend that it is in the interfacing of welfare regime ideologies and social work/social care practice ideologies that in our view the breadth and possibilities of AOP can only be located.
      1021Scopus© Citations 25
  • Publication
    Theorising welfare, fatherhood and the decline of patriarchy in Japan
    (Taylor and Francis, 2015-10-07)
    This paper investigates social policies concerning men's transitions to fatherhood and the changing role of fathers in Japan. A review of fathering research reveals a predominantly agency-level emphasis on role-strain between work and paternal identities with a specific discourse of weakened Japanese fatherhood. Previous research suggested Japanese gender equality and work-life balance initiatives stalled due to an absence of women's influence within Japan's corporate culture. This study offers a historical perspective to show modern family policies were essentially rooted in gender-equality campaigns led by women's organisations dating back to post-WWII era. The findings situate Japanese social policy and epistemology in the international vanguard of a 'Nordic turn' towards structural-level research and improved social citizenship rights to support men's transitions to fatherhood.
      701Scopus© Citations 12