Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
From Here to MaternityBecoming a Mother$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447349341

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447349341.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

Domestic Politics

Domestic Politics

(p.188) 9 Domestic Politics
From Here to Maternity

Ann Oakley

Policy Press

This chapter examines fatherhood. It shows that, while biology makes fathers dispensable, society carves out particular roles for them. These roles are shaped by history and circumstance, yet in a sense the problem for every society is the same. If men are to feel involved with (or at least responsible for) their children, they must be impressed by a sense of indispensability: they must feel necessary. Our industrialised culture achieves this end via a logic of economic dependence: women and children must be supported by men. The logic is reinforced by an appeal to a set of ideas about the nature of both men and family life. A proper man fathers children, who are then visible confirmation of his sexual and social normality. A proper family is made up of a male and female parent and their children. Looked at another way, the problem for men is how to share the experience.

Keywords:   fatherhood, fathers, indispensability, industrialised culture, economic dependence, family life

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.