Fathers in Cultural Context.
Shwalb, David W. Shwalb, Barbara J. Lamb, Michael E.
xxii, 419 p.
Published: September 2012
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
711 Third Avenue
New York, NY 20017
This book reviews the latest research on fathering in cultures representing over 50% of the world’s population. Multidisciplinary experts on 14 countries/regions discuss cultural and historical influences, diversity in fathering within cultures, and socioeconomic conditions and policies impacting fathers. Each of the 14 chapters begins with the story of an individual father, and then places fathering in the broader contexts of community, culture, and country. The chapters are structured in the same way to enable comparisons across cultures. After the case story, each chapter discusses cultural and historical influences on fathering, fathering research findings in the target culture or region, variations in fathering between and within cultures, social and economic phenomena such as divorce, illegitimacy, immigration, and migration that increasingly influence fathers, social policies related to fathering, and speculation and predictions for the future related to fatherhood. Following an introduction, Part 2 focuses on Asia and includes chapters on fathers in China, Japan, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia, and the Arab world. Part 3 considers fathers in Africa and includes chapters on fathering in Central and East Africa and in Southern Africa. Part 4 includes chapters on fathering in the Americas, including in Caribbean cultural communities, Brazil, and the United States. Fathering in Europe is considered in Part 5 with chapters on fathers in Russia, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom. Australian fathers are discussed in Part 6, and Part 7 concludes that cultural and historical backgrounds and changes have a major influence on fathers, research on fathers is of varying breadth and quality around the world, social policies designed to effect fathering are prominent in some cultures but non-existent elsewhere, sub-culture variation in fathering is universal, and contemporary economic conditions affect fathering. 36 figures, 4 tables, and numerous references.
father child relationships; father involvement; cross cultural studies; historical perspective; socioeconomic influences; cultural differences; family structure; immigrants; divorce; societal attitudes; SOCIAL POLICIES; PARENTING