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Situated Fathering

A Focus on Physical and Social Spaces

William Marsiglio; Kevin Roy and Greer Litton Fox

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When men act as parents they do so in diverse physical and social spaces imbued with symbolic meaning. They father in the military overseas, on the farm, in dilapidated inner cities, immersed in ethnic neighborhoods, navigating idealized places of leisure where families go, as stepfathers in spaces where physical dimensions and family meanings intersect, as nonresident fathers managing less than ideal conditions, rolling across the interstate as long-haul truckers, playing catch alongside the house, managing precious family-time in prison work-release programs, as participants in community fatherhood initiatives, etc. Until now, family scholars had not explicitly theorized and focused on how physical space shapes fathers' lives. A distinct volume of theoretical and empirical research, Situated Fathering addresses this oversight by proposing a new framework for studying how various contingencies of physical space, in conjunction with social/symbolic issues, affect men's identities as fathers and their involvement with children. Consistent with public interest in men's efforts to 'be there' as providers and caregivers, this book explores issues associated with the barriers and supports to involvement that are part of the physical and social environment. Written largely for family scholars and students, it emphasizes a future-oriented perspective by outlining directions for theoretically guided research in specific, often gendered fathering sites. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 336Size: 7 x 9
978-0-7425-4568-7 • Hardback • August 2005 • $112.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7425-4569-4 • Paperback • July 2005 • $44.00 • (£29.95) - Currently out of stock. Copies will arrive soon.
978-1-4617-1525-2 • eBook • July 2005 • $43.99 • (£29.95)
William Marsiglio is Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida. His recent books include: Stepdads: Stories of Love, Hope, and Repair, 2004. Kevin Roy is Assistant Professor of Family Studies at the University of Maryland. Greer Litton Fox is Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Child and Family Studies.
Chapter 1 Situated Fathering: A Spatially Sensitive and Social Approach
Chapter 2 Fatherhood and the Social Organization of Space: An Essay in Subjective Geography
Chapter 3 Fathers and the Navigation of Family Space and Time
Chapter 4 Contextual Scenarios for Stepfathers' Identity Construction, Boundary Work, and "Fatherly" Involvement
Chapter 5 Nonresidential Fathers: Shifting Identities, Roles, and Authorities
Chapter 6 The Haunted Hero: Fathering Profiles of Long-haul Truckers
Chapter 7 "Until the Ball Glows in the Twilight": Fatherhood, Baseball, and the Game of Playing Catch
Chapter 8 "Nobody Can Be a Father In Here": Identity Construction and Institutional Constraints on Incarcerated Fatherhood
Chapter 9 Situating Fatherhood in Responsible Fatherhood Programs: A Place to Explore Father Identity
Chapter 10 Military Fathers on the Front Lines
Chapter 11 Farm Dads: Reconstructing Fatherhood, the Legacy of the Land, and Family in the Fields of the Midwest
Chapter 12 "Gotta Protect My Own": Men Parenting Children in an Abandoned City
Chapter 13 Mexican American Fathering in Neighborhood Context
Chapter 14 Devoted Dads: Religion, Class, and Fatherhood
Situated Fathering makes an outstanding contribution to how we understand fathers' lives in their many, varied contexts: physical, institutional, cultural, and social. A must read for serious students of fatherhood, researchers, and policy-makers.
Joseph H. Pleck, University of Illinois


Focusing on the link between fathers' experiences and the social organization of space, Marsiglio, Roy, and Fox provide a powerful framework for understanding the social conditions that foster or undermine involved fathering. Situated Fathering highlights how men negotiate varieties of fatherhood in a range of often overlooked settings, from farms to inner cities to prisons and beyond. An important contribution that helps us see all fathers—and, indeed, all parents—in a new way.
Kathleen Gerson, New York University


·Introduces an original theoretical framework highlighting the significance of physical and social spaces for men's identity construction as fathers and their involvement with their children

·Organized around a clear theoretical theme in that all chapters focus on how physical and social spaces influence fathers' lives

·Focuses on a diverse set of sites/settings in which men do fathering

·All chapters explicitly outline specific directions for future research in a wide range of fathering sites

·Interdisciplinary collection of leading scholars

·Has only original work, both theoretical and empirical

·Primarily based on qualitative, engaging, and accessible work

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