Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The forgotton father : exploring experiences of first time fathers during the pregnancy, birth and post-natal periods and how discourses they draw upon regarding fatherhood and masculinity impact upon those experiences
Author: Spektor, D. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 2159
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Research on the experience of men during the transition to fatherhood is limited. The transition to parenthood has often been only explored in relation to women and the effects of this time on fathers have been largely neglected. Therefore this study examines the experiences of first-time fathers during the pregnancy of their partner, the birth of their child and the post-natal period, and explores the discourses they draw upon and how these have impacted on their experiences. The study takes the viewpoint that fatherhood is a social construction, and that it is directly influenced by historical and cultural factors and discourses regarding masculinity and, of course, motherhood. Furthermore the concept of postnatal depression is discussed as it acts as a dramatic reflection of how the constructions and discourses surrounding fatherhood, motherhood and gender have led to women being pathologised and oppressed in their role, whilst at the same time marginalising the experiences of men. The cohort consisted of nine first-time fathers all of whom were in heterosexual relationships. They were recruited from a service which ran groups specifically for fathers and their children. The fathers were interviewed individually using a semistructured interview format, and the data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis and Foucauldian discourse analysis. The analysis indicated that the men were affected both positively and negatively during their transition to fatherhood, often lacked support, felt excluded from the process and did suffer forms of distress at all stages of the transition. Furthermore, discourses regarding fatherhood and masculinity were found to impact on their experiences negatively by limiting their opportunities for action. The effect of gender ideologies on the men's experiences are highlighted, as is the importance of raising awareness of fathers' needs at this time. Finally, an argument is presented which calls for a shift in the focus away from the separate constructs of "motherhood" and "fatherhood" to the joint concept of "parenthood
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available