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“I DON’ T CONSIDER MYSELF A GOOD DAD, AT BEST, AN AVERAGE ONE”: HOW RUSSIAN MEN CONSTRUCT THE IMAGE OF A “GOOD FATHER” AFTER DIVORCE

Ekaterina Ivanova (eivanova@eu.spb.ru)

European University at Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Ivanova E.A. (2017) «Ya sebya ne otnoshu k khoroshim papam, v luchshem sluchaye, k normal’nym»: kak rossiyskiye muzhchiny konstruiruyut obraz «khoroshego ottsa» posle razvoda [“I don’t consider myself a good dad, at best, an average one”: How Russian men construct the image of a “Good father” af ter divorce]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(5): 132–150 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2017.20.5.8

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Abstract. This article presents the results of a research into divorced fathers in Saint Petersburg Russia. Gender ideology contextualized practices of fathering and models of fatherhood are both described within the paper. It points out that despite the emergence of the “involved father” model the majority of Russian fathers still accept a more traditional image of father as a moral guide and sex-role model. These ideals are expressed in the “masculine” type of care which focuses more on activities with the child rather than on everyday routine care. Fathers performing this model are less affected by divorce. Comparatively, fathers that are more involved feel vulnerable in the social context that considers the mother as primary caregiver. Becoming Involved in everyday care becomes a “recovery” resource to regain masculinity for some men piqued by divorce and loss of power in the family. “Absent” fathers in turn find resources for constructing an image of a “good father” in new families by performing better with their new children.

Keywords: divorce, fatherhood, masculinity

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