Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

“I always wanted to be a caring father, a mother in the form of a father” – Continuities and transformations of fatherhood in the Netherlands  
Carole Ammann (ETH Zurich)

Paper short abstract:

Fatherhood, the neglected counterpart of motherhood, paradoxically functions as both a site of transformation and reinforcement of parental gendered norms. This paper illustrates how Dutch men negotiate, contest, and reaffirm past and future ideas and practices around motherhood and fatherhood.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, I do not focus on motherhood but rather its neglected counterpart, fatherhood. For a long time, a strong motherhood ideology has dominated parenting in the Netherlands, meaning that women mostly stayed at home with their children whilst fathers were economically providing for their families. From the 1980s onwards, women slowly entered the labour market, but still today, mothers are typically expected to (at least partly) take care of their children (Knijn and Selten 2002; Du Bois-Reymond, 2009). While recent research has demonstrated that both parents consider gender equality an ideal and that fathers are spending more and more time with their children (Harthoorn 2019), in practice, the model of fathers working full-time and mothers working part-time prevails (Boterman 2020, 257).

Based on interviews with 65 fathers who have diverse backgrounds in terms of age, class, ethnicity, race, sexuality, level of employment, and family constellation, I investigate how they negotiate, contest, and reaffirm ideas and practices around the past and the future of motherhood and fatherhood in the Netherlands. On the one hand, a generational change is detectable as the research participants contrast their fathering with that of their own fathers. On the other hand, they express essentialist views on motherhood and fatherhood that are contrary to discourses that perceive to change the gendered underpinning of parenthood. Overall, I will show the paradoxical ways in which fatherhood functions simultaneously as a site of transformation and reinforcement of gendered parental norms.

Panel P013b
Motherhood Transformed and Transforming; Discussing the role of motherhood(s) and mother work in constructing futures of hope II
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -