What makes men mother and mop?: constancy and change in the care work performed by American men Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Latshaw, Beth Anne
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Despite widespread media attention to stay-at-home fathers, little empirical research has been done on the current predictors and implications of men's increased participation in the household. My dissertation overcomes this limitation by taking a mixed-methods approach to understanding what factors might reignite what Hochschild called the stalled household revolution. I combine in-depth interviews with 40 fathers, household time diaries, and preexisting survey data to examine three research questions: (1) Does working with more women on the job prompt men to embrace or resist housework off the job?; (2) Is the Census accurately capturing how many US fathers provide primary care; and, (3) How much and what types of housework are stay-at-home fathers doing? My first paper analyzes data from the American Time Use Survey and finds that employed men complete fewer hours of housework per week the higher the proportion of women in their occupation, although this reduction is greatest when jobs have equal numbers of men and women. Using interview data, my second paper critically assesses whether men who self-identify as stay-at-home fathers fit the Census' definition and re-estimates how many there are in the US today. Findings suggest that the Census undercounts the number of male primary caregivers by not including men who are employed, provide another reason for being home, or have been home less than one year. My third paper assesses how much and what types of housework full-time fathers complete. I find that stay-at-home fathers do more housework than working fathers, but tend to specialize in masculine chores (avoiding some housework traditionally associated with motherhood). In particular, fathers who are home short-term, were dissatisfied in former careers, live in rural locations and have lower household incomes participated the least. These results contribute to the literature by revealing how men's workplace context affects their housework time, ways we can use qualitative research to inform our measurement of fatherhood, and finally, what nuanced reasoning underlies fathers' participation in households today.
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  • In Copyright
  • Cohen, Philip N.
  • Open access

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