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SOC 305- Fathering

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Lauren Miller

on 13 April 2010

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Transcript of SOC 305- Fathering

Fathering "How Involved is Involved Fathering: An Exploration of the Contemporary Culture of Fatherhood" by Glenda Wall Shifts in the ideas of fatherhood since the 1980 samore father involvement with kids and their care. The "new fathers" of today are ideally more nurturing develop closer emotional relationships with their children and share the joys and work of caregiving with mothers"- pg. 509 Culture representations reflect AND shape assumptions about the role of fathering. 70's father: Breadwinner 1980s and beyond: "emotionally involved, more nurturing, and more committed to spending time with his children during infancy and beyond"- pg. 510 (become just as capable as mothers to hild rearing) La Rossa (researcher) says its important to distinguish between culture and conduct, meaning culture is society's "values, norms, and beliefs" and conduct is actual practices of fathers and according to LaRossa, American father hood made more changes in the culture rather than conduct. Therefore people conceive of fathers as being more involved and nurturing than they truly are. But still the mothers are the primary caregivers. How much has the culture of fatherhood really changed? Lauren Miller Jenah Newman Katherine Holgate Stacey Clarken Raj Subramanian Media and literary works do not reflect these new cultural standards of fathers and place them where they were before. Critical analysis of discourse surrounding fathering in Canadian magazine "Globe and Mail" series "family Matters: sept. 1999-june 2000 we examine underlying assumptions and the ways in which issues are framed through image, metaphor, exclusion, and dichotomy Interest of study: ways questions asked and issues framed on which aspects of the interviews reporters chose to focus attention on the assumptions being made Examine material: 54 articles making up the "family Matters" series that ran daily for the first week of the series and weekly thereafter from September 11, 1999- June 2, 2000, 1.3 million. Who is being addressed and represented? In series the mothers had much more attention paid to them. The articles/ items that were for/ about fathers place them as "less" than mothers and the fathers that were put as higher than mothers in respect of being caregivers were viewed as exceptional. 35 pics of mothers. 16 pics of fathers. Majority of the photos of fathers showed them with mothers somewhere in the photo Mother's voice is dominant in the text: they are portrayed and quoted the most "All these factors contribute to the overrepresentation of mothers in the articles and to the portrayal of fathers as secondary rather than primary parents"- pg. 516 The Articles Many of the artiles focused on the guilt and worry many pernts feel about not being good enough parents, but these articles focused on the mothers feeling this way, not the father Mother's quoted more about worrying about these responsibilities and presented as the one taking the action to deal with them father in background. the respnosibility to find the balance and deal with it with work and family is portrayed as the "job" of the mother Also addressed the issues of mother having jobs in articles such as "When mom decides to get a job" where readers are asked to fill out surveys about it. And what a family gains/ loses. "Thus, by framing employment as a choice for women but not for men, repeatedly raising the issue of whether women should work, and questioing the impact of women's (but not men's) work on child well-being, the series reinforces the assumption that career sacrifices and child care responsibilities are women's issues"- pg. 520 Culture of Fatherhood in the Series This study reveals to the growing evidence the extent to which the current culture of fatherhood does indeed support involved and nurturing fathering. In the Articles: Mothers: worry about child emotion and cognitive well-being, family organizing, struggling with work and family balance, and guilt about being away from children. Fathers: part-time/ secondary parents, parental responsibility fits around work schedule and responsibilities, workers first, parent second, not expected to care/ emotionally invest in hild, hegemonic masculinity. "The culture of fatherhood reflected here is not one that seriously challenges individual fathers to spend more time caring for young children or one that provides much support to those fathers who wish to be fully involved in caring for their children"- pg. 523 “Public educational efforts aimed at changing taken-for-granted understandings and promoting the importance of both maternal and paternal responsibility for the care of young children could contribute to some degree to greater equality in both the family and the workplace, as could the slowly changing conduct of fathers themselves and shifting cultural understandings of masculinity and femininity” –pg 523 Fathering behavior lagging in social expectations and have to go a long way before support fully involved father and shared parenting "Japanese Families: The Father's Place in a Changing World From Men and Masculinity"- Gary Decoker The stereotypical father works long hours and doesn't spend enough time with his kids. The ideal mother dedicates her time to eduating her kids. Nuclear Family: - The father is at work for long hours, so the wife has all the responsibilities at home

- The mother dedicates her time to her children so they will grow up to value this type of family for themselves 1994 Japanese Governement survey to Japanese and US parents with kids younger than 16: "Which one of the choices on this list best descrives your opinion as to how involved a father should be in housework and child raising?" (210) Japan 54.9% of fathers and 41.9% of mothers said that the father should "devote all of a majority of his efforts to work U.S. 39.4% of fathers and 35.4% of mothers responded the same way as the Japanese parents did. Japanese men are more comfortable with the traditional family image, than the women are. "A survey of unmarried persons under 35 years of age regarding what is considered and emphasized when choosing a marriage partner shows that a high percentage of men replied that they emphasize and consider their partner's haracter and appearance. In contrast, a high percentagae of women replied that, in addition to character they also emphasize and consider their attitudes toward the division of roles between men and women, in which men work to support the family finances and women engage in household work, are reflected in the selection of amarriage partner." - pg. 211 This means that most Japanese men want the traditional family, so they look for a wife who wants the same thing. On the other hand, Japanese women look for men who want non traditional family roles. The women focus on their families throughout their lives, and either wait to get married or get married at young ages so they still have independence while they are young, or later on in life. Men focus on their work throughout their lives. In contrast, people would think that husbands with working wives would spend more time with their families to make up for the fact that the mom isn't there. 1991 survey conducted by the Prime Minister's Office: Men's schedules with working wives didn't differ at all compared to those of men whose wives stayed at home. International surveys said that Japanese men were the least involved with their families. Stereotypical male professional worker: enters work force after college and works for the same company until he retires at age 60. Factors causing men to devote themselves to their work: 1. new employees enter the company every April 2. Promotions: very competitive a. Go through training and move up work levels over time, but always together. a. If a man isn't promoted early in his career, he could be demoted into an unneeded position, eventually leading to a forced retirement. Men leave for work early, and often work late, which makes them look like guests in their own homes. The effect on Children Men's time for family can only be found on Sunday's or holidats. The government is trying to help with family issues: decrease company work hours & support childcare leaves. Children from poor families could fall behind or drop out of school, score lower on IQ tests, develop learning disabilities, and are less likely to enroll in secondary education. Mothers play the biggest role in their hildren's schooling - Manage their schedule and help with school work Motherhood vs. Fatherhood Mother nurtures children focus on children's educational success Father provides for the children focus on their work and being a provider for their family - Japanese families are often labeled as "fatherless" - Japanese children prefer thier fathers to focus on their jobs instead of the family, and preferred their father to be striter rather than friendly " A Father should be stern with his children, while a mother should be affectionate." - 55.7% Japanese agreed with this, while only 27.4% of Amerians agreed. Mothers use the image of the father in childrearing practices- they want to protect the nurturing relationship they havae with their kids, so they set boundaries and are demanding of their children, but at this way as if they are the father, not the mother. "Japanese fathers, when present are more likely to be playmates than disiplinarians." -pg. 216 Strengths Allows the reader to understand the social differences between a traditional Japanese Family and an American Family -The Father’s role is highlighted in a Japanese family by his work and his presence as a hard worker that is focused to provide for his kids and wife.

-In an American Family males also dominate work yet the male himself is not taught by society to have a closer connection with his work than his wife and kids.

-Both families show that Male dominance is present, although rather than Japanese families focusing on the Male being seen as superior, it is rather preferred by members within the family to see the father working and the mother staying at home.
This is why Japanese moms are forced socially to have their kids in order, whether it is academically in their studies or even with their extra curricular activities the mother takes the blame when the kid is performing poorly.

There is a strong pressure on the mother as she is forced to make sure the kids prosper in society, as well as the father who must make sure his hard work entails success and financial independence with his family. Weaknesses Skewed opinion of how Japanese families run socially, because it seems as though nearly all Men wish to have a closer connection with their work, over their families. In addition statistics show that 55.7% of Japanese families claim that father should be stern with his children, versus 27.4% of Americans. The negative of this is that Japanese fathers are seen as “shadowy tyrant” due to his lack of presence, in reality he is psychologically present. Mothers use this ideal image of the father to “shape” their kids in a well-behaved manor.



Article still portrays American families to have a much “closer” bond overall, when in reality there are several American families that identical to Japanese ones. Fathers can be busy in the US as well, with a connection to their work stronger than with their families. Note: The distinction between males and females are changing in Japan similar to the change that occurred in the US, although economic and social factors seem to mitigate amongst the change. Since the economy is slowly diminishing in both the US and Japan, it is even harder for woman to find a job and break away from their male dominated work environment. Although Japanese youth are starting to understand that there needs to be a higher level of education Effects on Children The article also highlights on the idea of children being more focused in school when their families are financially stable. It is seen that Children form poor families are more likely to drop out of school, as Japanese post war families were affected greatly by this. This did not mean that parents with lower incomes did not want the best for their kids, but kids naturally seemed to be affected academically with household financial problems they saw each day.

The 70’s marked a change for such economic problems in both Japan and America, as families were able to come out of their economic slump. For Japanese students this resulted in moms moving from the role of a mother and a part time employee.



Ryosai Kembo (Good Wife, Wise Mother) which was a word for the way females were able to take care of their families as well as work in a time of need.



Concluding taught: Japanese men seek woman that are family oriented so they can focus on their jobs and have a steady family being monitored by their wives

Although Japanese woman do not always seek Men to dominate their family lives with a hard work ethic to keep their family stable.

Although Japanese kids prefer a family life where the mother controls the nurturing and bringing up of the family, while the father has a stronger connection with his work


This could be why so many Japanese men are hard workers in society? And typically end up in high positions….as they have seen that from a young age Connection to Kantor's Article Numbers - The minority population that Kantor mentions is similar to the females present in both Chinese and American Societies

- This group of people are segmented away from the “men” who typically work and dominate the income in a family

- Assimilation theory that Kantor expresses about a stereotypes or generalizations regarding a persons social type, leads them into being identified in a certain way. Links with the way Japanese Woman are seen in a traditional Japanese Family.

- The woman themselves may not be unintelligent to work as the leading provider for the family; but her “role” or “stereotype” consistently generalizes the way Japanese woman should be seen.

- Kantor’s classification of groups is far beyond what they literally represent, but rather a study that can help us understand the emotions and actions of the individuals that are composed within them. In this case we are able to see that Japanese woman are not always attracted to Males that focus primarily on their work and dominate their society; the are simply placed in that role as society develops them. Strengths shows how fatherhood viewed by it's lack of presence. - the article refers to the newspaper and how fathers were rarely in the images or quoted.
- Wall uses this to illustrate the lack of importance fathers at home over mothers.
- fathers are portrayed as secondary to the mother Compares mothers perspective over the fathers - fathers regret not spending enough time with their family
- Mothers worry about if their raising their children okay dictates the common stereotypes of fatherhood

Father as a playmate, coaching the kids soccer team, goofing off, etc. Media portrayal of fatherhood

"men who are pictured with children usually also have a woman present, suggesting that men are not expected to take on parenting duties alone."- pg. 511 Weaknesses Not a wide range of data.

- analysis of the Canadian newspaper
- not a diverse pool of surveys
- middle class and highly educated Activity Did your mother or father or both…

(1) Drive you to school

(2) Pick you up from school

(3) Cook dinner

(4) Clean dishes

(5) Discipline you

(6) Comfort you

(7) Work longer hours

(8) Help you get ready for school

(9) Give you permission to go out.

(10) Help you with your homework

(11) Hang out with you and your friends

(12) Played sports with you

(13) Went shopping with you RESULTS

-Even though our classroom may not indicate a change in society

-Men overall still dominate most families, although are slowly changing from the sole authority figure, to a more nurturing individual.

- “New Fatherhood”: 1980’s to present

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=solr1W5idNY - In the past, fathers would only be participating in roles that were seen as nurturing with their children, only if they had no other option (jobless)

- Ex: cooking, cleaning, nurturing children, arts and crafts, etc Times have slowly changed in the US as fathers now wish to be affectionate with their children, even if they are busy with work

- This is still not the case in Japanese families, as children are more comfortable with their fathers holding the role of authority, as they would prefer focusing on their jobs vs. their families.
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