Changes Among Post-Patriarchal Men and Fathers

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Diana LENGERSDORF, University of Cologne, Germany
Anna BUSCHMEYER, German Youth Institute, Germany
Recent German Family Politics aims at changing traditional attitudes towards mother- and fatherhood, masculinity and feminity. During the past decade, for example, introducing incentives for fathers taking parental leave as well as campaigns for more men in professional childcare show, that the patriarchal order is challenged. At the same time we still recognize a strong stability of gender order regarding the gendered division of labor, occupational payment for women and men, gendered practices of housework, caring etc.. The wellknown tension between persistence and transformation increases, not at least because of changing masculinities.

In our research projects on ‘involved’ fathers and men working in the childcare-profession we found an acceptance of what we call ‘alternative masculinities’. We will argue that masculinities are in flux. Masculinities (can) appropriate elements usually associated with the feminine, yet they are at the same time intent on maintaining hegemonic masculinity as a reference point. We will discuss the impact those findings have on the patriarchal dividend. The question to ask is: Can men in general still gain the patriarchal dividend, as Raewyn Connell argued?