Changing Roles of Fathers in Turkey: Example of (Pro)Feminist Fatherhood

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Atilla BARUTCU, Bulent Ecevit University, Turkey
Naz HIDIR, Ankara University, Turkey
This study aims to reveal how (pro)feminist fathers construct their fatherhood in familial relations during the process of construction of their masculinity. It also tries to find out the impact of the roles of these fathers on socialization process of their children about gender equality. In Turkey, it is possible to talk about changing roles of fathers in comparison to traditional roles mainly represented by patricentric family structures after 1980s, especially with the impact of growing feminist movement. However, it is still argued that some traditional roles have a continuing effect on men’s construction of their identity and in their family relations. In this sense, (pro)feminist fathers who support gender equality and women’s movement, and who participate in child rearing process become crucial role models for “new fatherhood” in Turkey.

We have interviewed 20 fathers who live in different regions of Turkey. Some of these fathers identify themselves as (pro)feminist and others are supporters of the women’s movement and a part of child rearing but they don’t prefer using the word “(pro)feminist” because of political concerns. We will discuss three main points in the light of in-debt interviews: (1) What is the role of being (pro)feminist or supporter of gender equality on masculinity construction, (2) how these men construct their roles of fatherhood in familial relations, and (3) how they play a role on their children’s behaviours. With this way, “being a (pro)feminist man” and “new fatherhood” will be discussed in the context of Turkey.