Working fathers as providers and carers: towards a new conceptualisation of fatherhood

Alison Smith

in Social Policy Review 20

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420763
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303473 | DOI:
Working fathers as providers and carers: towards a new conceptualisation of fatherhood

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This chapter is a welcome counterbalance to the assumption that combining working and family life are women's concerns. It draws on an ESRC-funded study on how working fathers are reconceptualising fatherhood as being about combining economic provision and caring, usefully taking the theoretical debate on fatherhood beyond issues of breadwinner versus carer. This analysis of working time and paternal time shows that there is a distinct class basis to the quality and quantity of time that fathers spend with their children; perhaps counterintuitively, it is the fathers who work the hardest in the economic arena and who work the hardest in the caring arena. In sum, fathers who earn more care more for their children. The findings in this chapter have important implications on the perception about developing theory and policy around fathering, caring and working, as well as the implication it has on mothering, caring and working and gender relations within families and societies.

Keywords: working; family life; working fathers; reconceptualising fatherhood; economic provision; caring; issues of breadwinner; issues of carer; fathering

Chapter.  7346 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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