Paternal masculinities in early fatherhood: dominant and counter narratives by Finnish first-time fathers
Eerola, P., & Mykkänen, J. (2013). Paternal masculinities in early fatherhood: dominant and counter narratives by Finnish first-time fathers. Journal of Family Issues 36 (12), 1674-1701. doi:10.1177/0192513X13505566
Published inJournal of Family Issues
© The Author(s) 2013. This is an online first version (version 2; final draft) of the article whose final and definitive version has been published in 'Journal of Family Issues' by SAGE.
In this article, we seek to extend understanding of the role of gender in early fatherhood by examining narratives of paternal masculinities, that is, the social and cultural constructions of gendered practices and conventions produced by men on their roles as male parents. The data comprised interviews with 44 Finnish first-time fathers (aged 20-42 years) living in a heterosexual relationship. The narrative of the “decent father,” was identified as the dominant narrative of paternal masculinity in early fatherhood. Although the narrative was characterized by some important gendered differences, it was also in line with the well-known concept of the “new father.” Two counter narratives, labeled the “equal father” and “masculine father,” in which gendered parenthood was rejected in the former and essentialized in the latter, were also identified. The results indicate the normative quality of narratives on paternal masculinity.