Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Bonnie Fox on Gender, Caring and Work

Tina Miller, Making Sense of Fatherhood: Gender, Caring and Work. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2011, 214 pp. $US 29.99 paper (978-0-521-74301-3), $US 85.00 hardcover (978-0-521-51942-7)

At the heart of feminist scholarship are questions about the obstacles to egalitarian gender relations. The consequences of motherhood for individual women are chief among those obstacles in advanced capitalist countries (although they vary by class, race and location). Motherhood involves 24/7 responsibility that very few fathers (living with women) ever take on, it entails housework, it significantly handicaps women in the labour force, and it often transforms women’s identity. Because parenthood usually moves heterosexual couples to adopt more conventional household patterns, many scholars aiming to assess the extent of gender inequality in families have focused on whether men are sharing housework and child care.      
In Making Sense of Fatherhood, British sociologist Tina Miller explores how fatherhood is changing and whether fathers’ increased “involvement” in infant care represents the “undoing of gender.” Read more