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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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Fathering as a learning process:

Fathering as a learning process:

breaking new ground in familiar territory

Chapter:
(p.187) Nine Fathering as a learning process
Source:
Fatherhood in the Nordic Welfare states
Author(s):

Steen Baagøe Nielsen

Allan Westerling

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447310471.003.0009

This chapter analyses the learning processes of fathers who are actively involved in childcare of family life. The fathers participated in a Nordic study of fathers who took on extraordinary family responsibilities. Based on social psychological, narrative analysis of qualitative interview the analysis focuses on three dimensions:a) the relationships between caring competence and fatherhood, b) the relationships and reconfigurations between fatherhood and masculinity: and c) the relationship between the care of fathers and children’s needs. The fathers in the study find ways to deal with the challenges and changes of everyday life in a modernized society. They display considerable reflexivity and a fundamental motivation for developing their relationships with their children. This can be understood as a practical orientation towards the family with whom they live as well as a consequence of on-going processes of modernization. It involves new ways of ‘doing’ family, new rationales and forms of practice that not only challenge the traditionally gendered forms of practice but actually contribute to establishing common grounds in family life and to negotiating the normative guidelines found in the cultural ideals of the family we live by.

Keywords:   fathering, modernization, care, learning process, Nordic countries

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