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Fathers' experiences of paid work, care, and domestic labour

Seddon, Victoria 2010. Fathers' experiences of paid work, care, and domestic labour. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis is theoretically guided by the ethics of care and sociological debates over structure and agency. The key areas explored are: the types of employment practices that men adopt which take account of fathering and how fathers negotiate domestic labour and childcare. Semi-structured interviews with twenty-four fathers from two public and private sector employers, explored these issues. These gathered men's accounts of their fathering practices. In addition, five key actor interviews were conducted with representatives from organisations with policy interests in this area. It was found that fathers' employment practices were organisationally patterned. For instance, managerial fathers internalised employers' demands. Fathers in public sector roles accessed flexitime, but its use was restricted by continuous service provision. Fathers without access to formal flexible working policies made informal and occasional arrangements. It emerged that fathers' involvement in care changed in response to children's development. Playing and routine caregiving were important forms of engagement for fathers of younger children. In contrast, fathers of adolescents facilitated their independence whilst providing guidance and helping with homework. In relation to fathers' involvement in domestic labour a diverse typology was presented. This ranged from fathers who left routine tasks to partners, to “sharers” and lone fathers with responsibility for domestic routines. Fathers' felt that partners' standards could obstruct their participation, but this was related to the ownership of tasks. Fathers' care could be fostered through a gendered policy awareness, with arrangements moving beyond children's early years. Domestic labour could be given weight as an area of policy intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:29

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