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Fathers and Fathering

  • By: Andrea Doucet
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In the past few decades, research and writing on fathering/fatherhood has burgeoned into a major field of theoretical and empirical inquiry. This scholarship has been multidisciplinary, cross-cultural, and diverse in terms of theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches. Research on fathering has occurred within psychology, social work, family studies, sociology, feminist studies, and economics. The diverse theoretical perspectives that have underpinned this research have included feminist theories, theories of masculinities, symbolic interaction, family systems theories, role theory, poststructuralism, and varied versions of critical theory (informed by Karl Marx or Michel Foucault). Studies on fathering have employed multiple methodologies, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as a range of theoretically informed methodological approaches (such as grounded theory, narrative analysis, and varied versions of ethnography).

The proliferation ...

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