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Rural masculinities and fathering practices

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Fatherhood and fathering practices have been surprisingly absent from the literature on rural men and masculinity. This article draws on interviews with two generations of farm fathers in Norway to examine how rural masculinities are constructed through fathering practices. It explores how fathering creates potential for the development of alternative rural masculinities in two socio-historical contexts. Findings demonstrate that farm work is important for masculine legitimization in both generations, but, in contrast to the older generation, for the current generation farm work and fathering practices have become spatially separated. Their greater involvement in childcare within the domestic spaces indicates a slight shift towards more equal co-parenting driven by the movement of mothers into the non-farm labour force and the new fathering moralities in society. However, fathering practices through outdoor sports, wilderness activities and hunting constitute stable sites of rural masculinity. As fathering requires nurture and compassion, these ‘traditional’ rural activities display the fluidity of rural masculinity.
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Keywords: Noruega; Norway; cambio generacional; farm fathers; generational change; masculinidades; masculinities; padres rurales; rural

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491,Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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