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Title: Non-resident fatherhood : a qualitative study of fathers' perspectives, experiences and relationships in context
Author: Shaw, Winona
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 447X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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Non-resident fathers have frequently been discussed as a significant social and economic concern for contemporary society. However, whilst non-resident fathers have arguably become visible in social welfare and policy agendas, relatively little is known academically about the lived experiences of these fathers in the UK. Previous research in this area has tended to focus either on the problematic nature of so called ‘absent’ fathers or on the financial responsibilities of non-resident fathers. Through a focus on the lived experience of non-resident fathers, this research developed a broader understanding of fathers’ perspectives, experiences and relationships, with an appreciation to their circumstances such as socio-economic status, family relationships and employment. Semi-structured interviews conducted with a diverse sample of 26 non-resident fathers who had ongoing contact with their children led to a wealth of insight into topics such as: similarities and differences between resident and non-resident fatherhood; building, restoring and strengthening of father-child relationships in post-separation families; negotiation and construction of fathering identities; and the balancing of romantic and social relationships with fathering. This thesis highlights how fathers’ circumstances, most significantly their housing situation, their contact schedule with their children and interpersonal relationships strongly interact with, and at times hinder, their desired wishes for care and parenting. Findings within this thesis show that traditional attitudes toward the family that centre upon a one-family household model still dominates thinking within policy-making and practice relating to children and families. This marginalises non-resident fathers, at times not recognising their fathering practices, and fails to recognise that many children live in more than one home. Through its exploration of non-resident fathers’ perspectives, this thesis draws several new and interesting conclusions relevant to sociological discussions of contemporary families as well as providing suggestions for improved social policy for separated families in the UK.
Supervisor: Churchill, H. ; Kilkey, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available