Friday, May 29, 2009

What Fathering Needs

I am attending a conference at the University of Pennsylvania honoring family sociologist Frank Furstenberg. I will post some good points as they come up.

Kathryn Edin, co-author of Promises I Can Keep, about which I have blogged several times, is working on a new study about the fathers of the teen moms she studied in that book. She found that the men wanted to be attached to their children, even if they didn't have much of a relationship with the mothers. These poor men mistrust women, who think they are valued only for their resources. They do want to be fathers to their children, though:

“They are confident they can be good dads because all that good fathering takes is love, not money.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just finished Promises I Can Keep over the weekend, and I think this is fascinating. Kind of an inversion, or obversion, or funhouse mirror reflection, of the way the mothers themselves make sense of motherhood's requirements--and how those are related to the middle-class dominant cultural views. When the nonmarital mothers claim that "being there" is all that is required, they're going against the dominant expectations that mothering should happen in an economically stable marriage. Interesting that these nonmarital fathers are making a claim that actually might be better received by the middle-class, that "fathering" isn't bringing home a paycheck but is also about nurturing. Just rough thoughts.
Carla E.