By Richard Collier
Dialogue of the felony prestige, duties, and rights of guys who're fathers — whether or not they are married or single, cohabiting or separated, organic or 'social' in nature — has an extended background. in recent times, in spite of the fact that, western societies have witnessed a heightening of shock approximately no matter if households desire fathers and, if that is so, what sorts of fathers those could be. A debate concerning the way forward for fatherhood has develop into crucial to a number of conversations in regards to the altering relatives, parenting, and society. legislation has served a tremendous function in those discussions, serving as a focus for broader political frustrations, enjoying a imperative position in mediating disputes, and working as an important symbolic 'authorized discourse' which supplies an reputable, state-sanctioned account of the scope of paternal rights and tasks. Fragmenting Fatherhood offers the 1st sustained engagement with the way in which that fatherhood has been understood, built, and controlled inside of English legislations. Drawing on various disparate criminal provisions, and fabric from diversified disciplines, the booklet sketches the foremost contours of the determine of the daddy as drawn in legislation and social coverage, tracing shifts in felony and broader understandings of what it capacity to be a 'father' and what rights and responsibilities may still accrue to that prestige. In thematically-linked chapters slicing throughout great components of legislations, the booklet locates fatherhood as a key website of contestation inside of broader political debates concerning the family members and gender equality. Fragmenting Fatherhood presents a massive and distinctive source and speaks to debates approximately fatherhood throughout many fields together with legislation and felony idea, sociology, gender experiences, social coverage, marriage and kinfolk, and women's experiences.
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Additional info for Fragmenting Fatherhood: A Socio-Legal Study
These shifts pose significant challenges to the hetero-normative definitions of family life so central to functionalist accounts of fatherhood. A second and rather different framework of analysis has been provided by work focusing on the public/private distinction, a subject that has enjoyed a special significance in accounts of fatherhood within legal, historical and sociological studies of parenting. 101 On closer examination, however, a number of different interconnections exist between the public/private divide and the legal regulation of families, each in ways that involve some historically specific ideas of fatherhood.
The forms of fatherhood evident in law, and in much contemporary cultural imagery of parenting, do not necessarily reflect or simply describe a changing reality – whether of ‘family life’, paid employment or interpersonal relationships. 150 Shifting ideas about fatherhood are themselves part of how ideas about reality and knowledge of a rapidly changing world are constituted. The discourses of fatherhood to be found in law are just one, albeit significant, element of this. As we aim to show in the pages which follow, diverse social practices play a role in the constitution of fathers as distinctively gendered (as masculine/male) ‘familial’ subjects.
In the chapters to follow, we chart how these concerns and questions have played out in the field of legal regulation. We do not approach this work with any expectation of finding a single model of fatherhood, or consistent understanding of the role of fathers in law. Rather, understandings of fatherhood have evolved unevenly over time across diverse areas of law, remaining enmeshed in complex ways with the economic, cultural and political contexts in which discourses of parenthood are produced.