Fatherhood: Comparative Western Perspectives


  • Abigail Gregory
  • Susan Milner

Document type: Encyclopedia Entry

Appears in: Work and Family Encyclopedia

Year: 2005


  • Culture
  • Fathers/ Fatherhood
  • Roles


  • Inter-/multi-disciplinary


Changing parental roles are central to work-family studies. The overwhelming majority of fathers work full-time. However, Clarke and Roberts note (2002) that research on fatherhood developed slowly, due to lack of interest on the part of research funders until the emergence of welfare policy concerns about lone parenthood. Calls for greater paternal involvement in childcare have become increasingly insistent since the early 1970s (Pleck, 1987). Such calls are linked with the perceived decline of the male breadwinner model, notably as a result of changes in employment patterns (including male unemployment and downward pressure on wages) and growing labour market participation of women, as well as socio-demographic change (particularly rising divorce rates and family restructuring). It has been argued that a growing convergence has occurred between the lives of women and men in relation to the workplace and the family (Collier, 1999; McDowell, 1997).

Link:Fatherhood-Western_Perspectives encyclopedia