Special Issue "Fathers and Forefathers: Men and Their Children in Genealogical Perspective"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Martin Robb

Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: gender, identity and care; young fathers and young masculinities; men and loss

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research on fathers and fatherhood has blossomed in recent years, with a number of groundbreaking studies appearing, for the most part illuminating present-day fathering experiences (e.g. Doucet, 2006; Dermott, E. 2008; Miller, T., 2011), but also beginning to uncover hidden narratives of past fatherhoods (e.g. Tosh, 2007; King, 2015).  This special issue will, we hope, add something new to this expanding field, by exploring the dynamic relationship between present and past fatherhoods.

Family history and genealogical studies can be said to have an inbuilt masculine bias, due in part to the emphasis on tracing ancestors via surnames, which certainly in the Anglophone world has usually meant the name of the father, and in part because until comparatively recently women were mostly invisible in historical documentation. However, this apparent paternalist bias can obscure not just the lives of mothers, but also diverse and overlooked experiences of fatherhood in the past.

Popular understandings of fathers in past generations, as being detached and uninvolved in the lives of their children, can be said to play a significant part in the construction of modern fathering identities, with many men defining themselves in opposition to the way they recall being fathered, and ideas of ‘new’ fatherhood being played off against mythicized notions of historical fathering practices. But historical research has begun to show that these popular myths often misremember the past, judging it by current standards, and obscure the diverse nature of fathering practices in the recent and historical past, as well as globally and interculturally.

A genealogical approach to the study of fathers and fatherhood can critically examine these intergenerational constructions of fatherhood, and more positively illuminate the ways in which experiences of fathering and being fathered are passed on between generations. As Philip Kretsedemas wrote in the editorial to the inaugural issue of this journal, ‘genealogies can operate as a method for tracing pathways that unravel the definitions we impose on things and for exposing the limitations of familiar narratives’ (Kretsedemas, 2017).

For this special issue, we invite contributions that use a genealogical approach (broadly defined) to fathering and fatherhood, to defamiliarise accepted narratives and suggest new ways of thinking about men and their relationships with their children. Papers are invited from any relevant disciplinary backgrounds, addressing but not limited to the topics listed below:

Memories and memoirs of fathering and being fathered

Fathers in family stories and myths

Intergenerational influences on fathering

The name of the father: patrilinear bias in family history

Hidden, forgotten or marginalised narratives of fatherhod

Images of past fatherhoods in fiction and on film

Different and diverse past fatherhoods

Father figures and role models

Case studies of fathers and father figures from family history research

Past fatherhoods shaping present-day fathering

The construction of fatherhood in family and historical documents

References

Dermott, E (2008), Intimate Fatherhood: a sociological analysis, Routledge

Doucet, A. (2006 ) Do Men Mother? Fathering, care and domestic responsibility, University of Toronto Press

King, L. (2015) Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, 1914-1960, Oxford University Press

Kretsedemas, P. (2017)What Is Genealogy? Introduction to the Inaugural Issue of Genealogy’, Genealogy 1(2), 10

Miller, T. (2011) Making Sense of Fatherhood: Gender, caring and work, Cambridge University Press

Tosh, J. (2007) A Man's Place: Masculinity and the Middle-class Home in Victorian England, Yale University Press

Dr. Martin Robb
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fathers
  • masculinity 
  • identity 
  • intergenerational

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Generations Comparison: Father Role Representations in the 1980s and the New Millennium
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
In the light of relevant and current debate on the changing role of fathers, this contribution is aimed at analysing the international literature on fatherhood, comparing two distinct periods of time, from the social, cultural and demographic point of view: the years 1980–1999 [...] Read more.
In the light of relevant and current debate on the changing role of fathers, this contribution is aimed at analysing the international literature on fatherhood, comparing two distinct periods of time, from the social, cultural and demographic point of view: the years 1980–1999 and the new millennium. This will contribute to identifying features of the fatherhood transformation in these two contexts, which in fact refer to two generations of fathers. The research questions to be answered are: Which aspects characterize the process of fatherhood transformation, in an intergenerational perspective? How are paternal childcare practices represented in different historical and social periods? An analysis of the academic publications on fathers in Scopus and Google Scholar will be conducted, in the two temporal periods indicated, using T-Lab software, in order to map fathers’ role representations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Against All Odds? Birth Fathers and Enduring Thoughts of the Child Lost to Adoption
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
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Abstract
This paper revisits a topic only briefly raised in earlier research, the idea that the grounds for fatherhood can be laid with little or no ‘hands-on’ experience of fathering and upon these grounds, an enduring sense of being a father of, and bond [...] Read more.
This paper revisits a topic only briefly raised in earlier research, the idea that the grounds for fatherhood can be laid with little or no ‘hands-on’ experience of fathering and upon these grounds, an enduring sense of being a father of, and bond with, a child seen once or never, can develop. The paper explores the specific experiences of men whose children were adopted as babies drawing on the little research that exists on this population, work relating to expectant fathers, personal accounts, and other sources such as surveys of birth parents in the USA and Australia. The paper’s exploration and discussion of a manifestation of fatherhood that can hold in mind a ‘lost’ child, disrupts narratives of fathering that regard fathering as ‘doing’ and notions that once out of sight, a child is out of mind for a father. The paper suggests that, for the men in question, a diversity of feelings, but also behaviours, point to a form of continuing, lived fathering practices—that however, take place without the child in question. The conclusion debates the utility of the phrase “birth father” as applied historically and in contemporary adoption processes. Full article
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