"I Do Not Want to be a Weekend Papa": The Demographic "Crisis," Active Fatherhood, and Emergent Caring Masculinities in Berlin. By: Joshi, Meghana. Journal of Family Issues. May2021, Vol. 42 Issue 5, p883-907. 25p.

In this article, I explore German men’s relation to the emerging ideal of the father figure in general, and their conceptualizations and practices of this ideal as exemplified in the notion of aktive Vaterschaft (active fatherhood) in particular. I draw upon ethnographic data collected in Berlin (2010-2013) among three groups of West German men who converge in how they conceptualize and seek presence-sensual, emotional, and in absentia in the lives of their children. Here, paternal labor includes striving for regular contact with one’s child through routine care, emotional labor, and/or legal routes. This article, thus, furthers scholarship on forms of paternal labor, arguing that aktive Vaterschaft potentially re-signifies gender roles and destabilizes persistent negative representations of fathers. The contemporary demographic “crisis,” corresponding policy reforms that encourage male caregiving, shifts in discourses around fathers’ roles, and men’s social presence as caregivers facilitate and produce these particular forms of caring masculinities.