The Open UniversitySkip to content

Writing fathers in but mothers out!!!

Featherstone, Brid (2010). Writing fathers in but mothers out!!! Critical Social Policy, 30(2) pp. 208–224.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Since the late 1990s a series of government departments have promoted a policy and practice agenda urging practitioners in a range of settings such as school, health care and children’s centres to ‘engage’ fathers. The rationale for this project is that fostering father involvement with children will promote good outcomes particularly for those children who are most disadvantaged. The author suggests that this agenda is normatively undesirable and flawed practically. Gender equality appears to be neither an explicit nor implicit aim. Moreover, by constructing the father—child relationship as dyadic, mothers’ contributions to fathering and childcare are obscured. Drawing from a piece of qualitative research with fathers about their experiences of social care services, it would appear, however, that the fathers were preoccupied with mothers and their perceived power. Indeed, they had constructed a world of powerful unpredictable women who were supported by feminized services. Not only is writing mothers out problematic for gender equality purposes, it is also not feasible practically.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Critical Social Policy
ISSN: 0261-0183
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 30206
Depositing User: Brigid Featherstone
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2011 15:49
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:57
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU