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Absent or involved: changes in fathering of Estonian men working in Finland

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The aim of my article is to find out how living in the transnational space between two countries with significantly different histories changes family life. I discuss how working in a different country than one’s homeland can change the way one thinks about family and at the same time encourage people to try out new caretaking patterns. I focus on the trend towards more a inclusive family role of Estonian men working in Finland. My results show that transnational working does change the father’s role inside the family; it gives them the possibility to spend more time with their children and even to acquire the main caretaker role during the non-working period. Also, the fieldwork shows that men start to appreciate not only providing for economic well-being, but also being emotionally and socially more present in family life while at home.
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Keywords: Breadwinning; Estonia; Finland; caretaking; cross-border commuting; family relations; inclusive fatherhood; transnationality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Ethnology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Publication date: August 3, 2018

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