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Fatherhood in the Nordic Welfare statesComparing care policies and practice$
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Guðný Björk Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310471

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310471.001.0001

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Making space for fatherhood in gay men’s lives in Norway1

Making space for fatherhood in gay men’s lives in Norway1

(p.231) Eleven Making space for fatherhood in gay men’s lives in Norway1
Fatherhood in the Nordic Welfare states

Arnfinn J. Andersen

Policy Press

The construction of fatherhood is undergoing change as a result of closer and more independent relations between fathers and children. These changes have appeared in all the Nordic countries. What insight can the experiences of men with a homosexual lifestyle bring to the understanding of these changes? This essay is based on a study of well-educated homosexual men from the Norwegian middle class who have chosen to have children with lesbian couples. The central question in this study is how these fathers establish their fatherhood when the child is born outside the traditional frame of a heterosexual couple in a shared home. The study indicates that the space of parental collaboration takes the place that a shared parental home traditionally occupies. An important finding is that although the fathers choose to have children in an unconventional way, the space of collaboration which they establish with the mothers serves to confirm conventional values and traditions of family relations. In this way these fathers contribute to continuity in conceptions about family and home.

Keywords:   family relations, fatherhood, queer families

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