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Mobile fathering: absence and presence of fathers in the petroleum sector in Norway

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This article examines the fathering practices of men in mobile work in the petroleum industry in Norway. In particular, it analyses the spatial mobility of these men and how their absence and presence impact their fathering. Drawing on insights from gendered migration and mobility studies, fathering and ‘new material’ approaches, this article nuances the understanding of current fathering practices by showing how physical absence does not necessarily imply emotional absence and by identifying changing fathering practices among skilled working-class men. This study also suggests that these fathering practices challenge dominant ideas of parenting, which tend to be based on studies of mothering practices. This study uses life course interviews, observations and ‘travel along’ experiences. The findings demonstrate that being attentive to absence and presence, the agency of materialities, gender and fathers’ perspectives may broaden our understanding of fathering in mobile work and beyond.
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Keywords: Class; fathering matrix; parenting; proximity and distance; skilled workers; work-related mobility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Social Science, UIT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway

Publication date: August 3, 2018

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