Masculinity, Care and Stay-behind Fathers from a Post Socialist Perspective

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Helma LUTZ, Faculty of Social Sciences Institute of Sociology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Franfurt, Germany
This paper reveals the constant and messy entanglements of individual, intimate and micro practices with the larger global political economy of care by focusing attention on stay-behind fathers in post-socialist Eastern Europe. As a consequence of the political system transformation, many women and men in Eastern Europe lost their employment and found themselves without adequate means for care and living. Women migrate in large numbers in order to support their families. While over the last 15 years a variety of studies have focused on the repercussions of single female migration for their families, the gendered experiences and practices of stay-behind fathers have rarely been investigated. I will a) discuss the particularities of fatherhood, masculinities and gender regimes in socialist and post-socialist Europe; b) present two opposing cases on fathering partners of female migrant care workers, the involved working father and the authoritarian head of family from the analysis of interviews from the research project ‘Landscapes of Care Drain. Care Provision and Care Chains from the Ukraine to Poland and from Poland to; and c) finish by focusing on the difficult situation of ‘mothering fathers’ in a post-socialist situation where breadwinner masculinity is considered the cultural norm.