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”Man blir nog en bättre människaav att ta hand om små barn”: En intervjustudie om mäns konstruktion av föräldrarollen i Umeå
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study aims to deepen our understanding of both how men are affected by taking longer periods of parental leave, and the factors behind the decision of some men to take at least six consecutive months of leave. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five men living in Umeå, Sweden, who had been on parental leave for periods ranging from 6-15 months. Thematic analysis of these interviews revealed four themes: The female as the norm, gender-equal masculinity, the significance of paid work, and understanding provided by practical experience. The men in the study appeared to embody/perform a gender-equal masculinity, which differs from traditional masculinities. This deviant group challenges normative beliefs about how parenting should be done. Based on the four themes, above, a number of problem areas were identified: Firstly, even though a majority of the men seemed to pay less interest to their career than to their child, the paid-work norms affected the choices and possibilities for the men to take parental leave. The men feel that women, as the parent who carries the baby, are the major focus of parental education programs, and that different expectations exist formale and female parents. They experienced difficulty relating to other men in parental education  programs, and one man clearly expressed the discomfort of discussing parenting issues with other men. Breastfeeding also appeared to be problematic. This was partly because some of the men felt uncomfortable with the assumption of parental education programs that the woman would be the one to feed the baby, through breastfeeding, and partly because some of the men felt a sense of alienation from the fact that they themselves were incapable of breastfeeding. They felt a certain sadness that their children formed links to their mothers in this manner, which they were unable to. Finally, some of the men experienced difficulty in finding social groups, with the exception of the open preschools (öppna förskolan), while on parental leave. The paper discusses, and proposes suggestions to, the aforementioned problem areas, with the aim of contributing to regional development in Västerbotten,  Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
parental leave, fatherhood, masculinity, gender equality, parenthood, men, Thematic Analysis, föräldraledighet, faderskap, maskulinitet, jämställdhet, föräldraskap, män, tematisk analys
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109200OAI: diva2:855920
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Subject / course
Available from: 2015-09-22 Created: 2015-09-22 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Lisa Ridzen(1187 kB)55 downloads
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