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Doing Morally Intelligible Fatherhood: Swedish Fathers’ Accounts of their Parental Part-Timework Choices

Journal article
Authors Sofia Björk
Published in Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 221-237
ISSN 1537-6680
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 221-237
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.3149/fth.1102.221
Keywords doing gender, fatherhood, hegemonic masculinities, moral intelligibility, part-time work
Subject categories Sociology, Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Abstract

This article examines how moral norms shape fathers' ability to choose their care commitments. Drawing upon semi-structured interviews with 21 Swedish fathers, it considers the ways men negotiate moral intelligibility vis-à-vis the prevailing ideals of fatherhood and masculinity when accounting for their decisions to either exercise or not their right to parental part-time work. The analysis shows fatherhood to be heavily permeated by moral norms. The constraints these norms impose upon and the possibilities they offer for present-day Swedish fathers' agency when choosing and articulating their commitments are investigated. The moral discourses the fathers engaged with allowed for various ways of doing "good fatherhood" to be made morally intelligible, either enabling or excluding part-time work as a morally possible option.

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