Embodying risk: managing father–child intimacy and the display of nudity in families

Gabb, Jacqui (2013). Embodying risk: managing father–child intimacy and the display of nudity in families. Sociology, 47(4) pp. 639–654.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038512448558

URL: http://soc.sagepub.com/content/47/4/639

Abstract

This article interrogates how parents manage public–private practices of father–child intimacy and how the dis/embodied male impacts on the display of nudity in families. Drawing on empirical research, it examines some of the tensions which crystallise around intimate fatherhood and the meanings and practices of family photography. Focusing on the visual and how this can shed light on different dimensions of everyday experience, it explores how parents set boundaries around notions of decency and adjudge appropriate behaviour, with particular attention to the (in)significance of children’s age and the impact of class and social context. Notwithstanding cultural changes which prize intimate fatherhood, the management of masculinity and the paternal body remain a source of anxiety. This article interrogates how gender and ideas of ‘risk management’ are shaping embodied interactions between fathers and children and thus what children are learning about men, masculinity and intimacy.

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