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‘The appy for a happy pappy’: Expectant fatherhood and pregnancy apps

Thomas, Gareth ORCID:, Lupton, Deborah and Pedersen, Sarah 2018. ‘The appy for a happy pappy’: Expectant fatherhood and pregnancy apps. Journal of Gender Studies 27 (7) , pp. 759-770. 10.1080/09589236.2017.1301813

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Many mobile software applications (‘apps’) related to pregnancy have been developed for the global market, yet little research has explored how expectant or new fathers are represented in such technologies. Drawing on a critical discourse analysis of the descriptions of pregnancy apps available in two major online stores, we identify how these media artefacts represent a problematic version of performing fatherhood. On the one hand, notions of ‘intimate’ fatherhood are enacted by emphasising the importance of men acquiring knowledge about pregnancy/childbirth and providing emotional and informed support to their partner as she experiences pregnancy, childbirth, and new motherhood. However, many apps also condescend to expectant fathers and trivialise their role, assuming that they need entertainment, humour and encouragement to promote their involvement. We suggest that such meanings are reflected in wider social expectations, norms, and paradoxes in relation to the role of men in contemporary parenthood. Further research is required to explore how men engage with apps and how apps contribute to their understandings and practices of expectant and new fatherhood.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Uncontrolled Keywords: Apps, fatherhood, masculinities, parenting, pregnancy, sociology
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1465-3869
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 March 2017
Date of Acceptance: 28 February 2017
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 19:16

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