Om barns fadersbild
Sammanfattning: The aim of this study is to describe and to interpret how fathers are concieved by their children. Various aspects of the male parent and the relationship between the child and his or her father are beeing investigated from the childs point of view. Forming an understanding of the fathers significance from the childs perspective is of particular importance for the study. This perspective is being formulated from a position that looks upon the childs socialization and the identityshaping processes as primarily a matter of "what children do with what is done to children".The empirical data in the study was obtained by interviewing one hundred children, seven and ten year old girls and boys, partly from Umeå and partly from some small villages a few swedish miles away from the town. The semistructured interviews were made with children from five different schools and from eighteen different school-classes.Data show that a vast majority describe a fairly close relationship to a father with clearly anti-patriarchal characteristics. The middle-class father is seen as a more family-oriented parent, more equal to his spouse than the working-class father who is more likely of beeing described in traditional terms. Some gender-related patterns are shown that concerns different orientations towards the father. While the boys tend to view their fathers in direct relation to themselves - him and me - the girls are more likely to describe their male parents as familyfathers and from a perspective that sees him as a partner to the mother.From the characterization the children made of their fathers from the family-drawings, four different cateogories, representing various perspectives on the father, were identified: The Positive, the Ambigous, the Disappointed and the Neutral.The symbolic interactionism, based on the works of George H. Mead, is argued to be a fruitful theoretical framework for understanding the socializationprocess in which the childs concepts of its father are being shaped. From a perspective on the cultural modernization and its impacts on parenting and the relationship between fathers and children, it is also claimed that there are reasons to beleive that the tendencies of release from a traditional determination not only put new burdons on parents and children in modern society, but also provide a widening of possibilities and a powerful potential for forming more "normalized", non-authoritarian and non-oppressive, interaction-based relations betweenchildren and their fathers.
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