Revija za socijalnu politiku, Svezak 23, Br. 3 (2016)

Veličine fonta:  Mali  Srednji  Veliki

In the Name of the Father: A Discussion on (New) Fatherhood, Its Assumptions and Obstacles

Ana Maskalan


Deliberation on the concepts of father and fatherhood and their literal and symbolic meanings makes the starting point of this paper. Furthermore, a short historical overview is combined with selected theories of fatherhood, which serve as a framework for placing the issues regarding modern fatherhood in the appropriate context. That context, it is concluded, rests on the historical interdependence of fatherhood, masculine identity and political power where traditional determinants of masculinity, such as aggressiveness and emotional detachment, represent a major obstacle to the fulfilling and positive father-child relationship. That relationship is partially discussed in relation to the concept of equal parental partnership, implying not only the new forms of fatherhood but the new forms of masculine identity as well. Unfortunately, there are still many obstacles to modern fatherhood, the most important one being gender inequality manifested through traditional male bread-winner and female child-rearer models. Subsequently data is provided on values and practices of Croatian men and women regarding childcare, that were collected and analysed in 2013 as part of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and its survey on family and changing gender roles. The arising conclusion is that although many positive changes have been made the Croatian society has got a long way to go to both equal parenting and gender equality. Also, it is important to note that as a subject of political and legal controversy fatherhood cannot and must not be considered independently of the wider gender issues regarding motherhood, social status of men and women, as well as socio-economic assumptions of both fatherhood and motherhood.

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Revija za socijalnu politiku (Online). ISSN: 1845-6014