Fatherhood essay

Examine the changes in the status of fatherhood (24 marks)

I can't remeber what i got, but it was definetely above a C, maybe it was a B :)

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  • Created on: 20-02-12 12:31
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Examine the changes in the status of fatherhood (24 marks)
Over the past forty years, the status of fatherhood has changed considerably;
this is due to many reasons. Firstly, the way in which society functions has
changed and this has caused certain roles to change. One of these changes
includes the changing attitudes towards women getting jobs; it is now seen as
much more socially acceptable for a woman to work. Also, the feminisation of the
economy; there are many jobs which are primarily aimed at women only, such as
secretaries and receptionists. Another factor which has changed over the years
is the decline of construction and manufacturing jobs; this has meant that more
men are out of work. Due to this change, many men have taken it on themselves
to carry out the traditional role of the women, which is domestic labour; many men
now cook, clean and look after the children whilst their wives work and bring
money into the household. This type of man is called `the new man'. This idea of
the new man would be supported by the Postmodernist approach as they believe
that change is good, and in order for society to function and move forward,
change needs to occur. However, the New Right approach would disagree with
some aspects of the formation of the man; this is because the only reason that
the idea of the new man has come into practise is because many mother are now
choosing to further their education and work, and this is disliked by New Right
sociologists. The Functionalists may also disagree with this as they believe that it
should be women who carry out domestic work and not men. However, Feminists
would disagree with the Functionalist view and say that this is a positive thing for
women as they are not being forced to carry out domestic labour.
The in which fathers are viewed within the family has also changes over the years.
Forty years ago, the father was seen as having the most `powerful' role within the
family and household; also, in many households, the father figure was normally
seen as the `giver of punishment' to children in order to discipline them.
Furthermore, fathers did not seem to interact with their children in an emotional
way; this was seen as the role of the mother, the expressive leader. However, this
is not the case in today's society and the roles between both parents have
changed significantly. In today's society, men are seen to be more active in the
role of child rearing; this is due to the fact that many fathers are now more in
touch with their emotional feelings towards their children. Men are no longer seen
as the `giver of punishment' due to reason and also because children have much
more rights than they used to. The New Right critique may be against this growing
trend of fathers being emotionally attached to their children and not willing to
`punish' them for immoral behaviour; this may be because they believe that
children in today's society are not being adequately disciplined and this may
mean that they will turn to crime when they are older. However the Postmodernist
approach would disagree with the New Right as they believe that this change in
the status of fatherhood is healthy for society as it shows that society is evolving
and moving forward.
In recent years, there have been campaigns which have been aimed at changing
the perception of fatherhood. An example of these campaigns is `fathers for
justice'; the aim of this campaign was to give men more equal opportunities with
the custody of their children after a divorce. This sort of campaign has shown how
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The Postmodern approach
would agree with this campaign as they believe that the change in the
involvement of fathers with their children has shown how society has now
progressed and moved forward.
The role of fathers as the main breadwinner in the family has also changed over
the recent years; this is because many men are now choosing to stay at home
and look after their children and carry out domestic duties whilst their wives go
out to work and provide financially for the family.…read more

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