This paper stems from a longitudinal qualitative study that reconstructs the first transition to parenthood of a group of Italian middle-class dual-earner couples living in Northern Italy. Partners were interviewed separately before and 1½ years after the arrival of their first child between 2010 and 2013. Our analysis focuses on the discourses of a group of 17 Italian first-time couples on their anticipation and experiences of fatherhood with particular regard to paid work and childcare reconciliation. Its aim is to disentangle factors and mechanisms pushing toward ‘doing’ (West and Zimmerman, 1987) or ‘undoing’ gender (Deutsch, 2007) by looking into the ‘black box’ of the ‘fatherhood regime’ (Gregory and Milner, 2005). By focusing on the father’s intentions, expectations and practices concerning parental leave and childcare, the paper intends to show what factors contribute to, and what decision-making processes lie behind, the reproduction or (conversely) the reduction of gender differences in parenting. According to the international literature showing that the transition to parenthood is accompanied by a return to traditionalization (Fox, 2009; Grunow et al., 2007), the majority of interviews with first-time fathers reveal a persistence of breadwinner masculinities. Nevertheless, even in the Italian ‘fatherhood regime’ couples construct less gendered childcare arrangements: in some cases from before the baby’s birth, while in other cases, a more equitable sharing of childcare between the partners emerges in an ‘unexpected’ way.

First-time Italian fathers’ discourses on childcare and paid work. reconciliation between anticipation and experience

MUSUMECI, ROSY;NALDINI, Manuela;SANTERO, ARIANNA
In corso di stampa

Abstract

This paper stems from a longitudinal qualitative study that reconstructs the first transition to parenthood of a group of Italian middle-class dual-earner couples living in Northern Italy. Partners were interviewed separately before and 1½ years after the arrival of their first child between 2010 and 2013. Our analysis focuses on the discourses of a group of 17 Italian first-time couples on their anticipation and experiences of fatherhood with particular regard to paid work and childcare reconciliation. Its aim is to disentangle factors and mechanisms pushing toward ‘doing’ (West and Zimmerman, 1987) or ‘undoing’ gender (Deutsch, 2007) by looking into the ‘black box’ of the ‘fatherhood regime’ (Gregory and Milner, 2005). By focusing on the father’s intentions, expectations and practices concerning parental leave and childcare, the paper intends to show what factors contribute to, and what decision-making processes lie behind, the reproduction or (conversely) the reduction of gender differences in parenting. According to the international literature showing that the transition to parenthood is accompanied by a return to traditionalization (Fox, 2009; Grunow et al., 2007), the majority of interviews with first-time fathers reveal a persistence of breadwinner masculinities. Nevertheless, even in the Italian ‘fatherhood regime’ couples construct less gendered childcare arrangements: in some cases from before the baby’s birth, while in other cases, a more equitable sharing of childcare between the partners emerges in an ‘unexpected’ way.
5th ESPAnet Spain Annual Conference: "Inequality and democracy: public policies and social innovation"
Barcelona
4th - 6th february 2015
5th ESPAnet Spain Annual Conference: "Inequality and democracy: public policies and social innovation"
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25
http://repsbarcelona2015.es
http://www.dcps.unito.it/unitoWAR/page/dipartimenti8/D072/D072_progetti2?path=/BEA%20Repository/5048067
Italy; transition to parenthood; fathers; paid work and childcare reconciliation; parental leave
R. Musumeci; M. Naldini; A. Santero
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/156989
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