Constructions of primary caregiving fathers in popular parenting texts

Sarah C. Hunter, Damien W. Riggs, Martha Augoustinos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Expectations and norms of fatherhood are evolving, with fathers now expected to be more involved in childcare. These changes have made it possible for a growing number of fathers to assume a primary caregiving role. Catering to these fathers, a growing number of books have been published focusing on primary caregiving fathers. The present article reports on a discourse analysis of nine such books. Four interpretative repertoires were identified, suggesting very specific ways in which it is deemed appropriate for men to take on primary caregiving. The findings emphasize the need to pay ongoing attention to popular parenting texts since, despite claims they encourage and support involved models of fathering, the books present and reproduce potentially limited accounts of fathers who are primary caregivers. As such, the findings highlight the importance of being critical of claims that fatherhood is evolving, given such evolution may be mitigated by ongoing normativity with regard to fathering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-169
Number of pages20
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • fathering
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • masculinities
  • stay-at-home dads


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