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Fathering in Everyday Family Life: Qualitative Case Studies of Ten Families

Earley, Victoria (2017) Fathering in Everyday Family Life: Qualitative Case Studies of Ten Families. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Fathers, fathering and fatherhood have been the subjects of much contemporary debate and investigation. The study’s aims and research questions were informed by the existing body of fatherhood research which has been, predominantly, constructed and undertaken in relation to an ‘unproblematic norm’ of fatherhood, in which it is presumed that ‘good fatherhood’ is experienced. This study, therefore, sought to explore – through a series of ten case studies – fathers, everyday fathering and notions of ‘good fatherhood’ within ‘normative’ contexts. In doing so, the study took a relational approach, drawing on the perspectives of fathers, mothers and children in recognition of the potential of each family member to deepen and broaden understandings of fathers, fathering and fatherhood. Findings highlight the common and divergent ways in which fathers and fathering were understood, experienced and ‘done’ both within and between families, and over time and space. The multiple meanings and concepts which are entangled with fathering practices were also revealed. The study has further shown that ‘family display’ is a useful tool for exploring the nuances of contemporary notions of ‘good fatherhood’. Using the lens of ‘family display’, the value placed upon ‘intimate fatherhood’ by fathers, mothers and children in normative contexts was demonstrated. This study has also contributed new and nuanced understandings to existing work on ‘intimate fatherhood’ by showing that intimate fathering practices are those which can be claimed as fathering (rather than parenting more generally) and are characterised by communication and mutuality between fathers and children. Through such intimate fathering practices, family members felt that fathers and children were able to nurture and sustain close relationships.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > Nursing and Midwifery (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.724409
Depositing User: Miss Victoria Earley
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 14:37
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2019 10:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18359

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