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The price of love: the prioritisation of childcare and income earning among UK fathers

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Shifting perspectives on how fathers 'should' practice childcare responsibilities, combined with changing household income patterns, indicate that balancing childcare and breadwinning is complicated for contemporary fathers. Drawing on qualitative discussions with 100 employed fathers in the United Kingdom (UK) and using notions of breadwinner (income-earning) and involved (hands-on) fathering as an analytical framework, this study examines how employed, married/cohabiting and lone UK fathers interpret paternity. It finds that breadwinning remains important for many fathers. However, there is a tendency among some men to prioritise childcare over paid work. The study therefore discerns patterns of continuity and change among contemporary fathers in their practices of childcaring and income earning. The study concludes that further research is needed, especially concerning lone fathers with resident children, who may be more involved with childcaring than is presently acknowledged.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July 2015

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