‘Adaption, Equality and Fairness. Towards a sociological understanding of the ‘supportive husband’

Anna Sofie Bach, Helene Aarseth

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many heterosexual couples today follow a neo-traditional pattern where she has main responsibility for the workings of domestic daily life – but there is also a growing number of couples where her job takes centre stage and he must adapt to that circumstance. This article focuses on the re-organization of gendered meanings prompted in such a situation. Drawing on narrative interviews with 22 men living in partnerships with career women, we investigate the cultural work required to construct intelligible masculine positions and identities when neo-traditional work/family patterns are unsettled. We identify and explore two central adaption narratives among the men: ‘running the family’ and ‘50/50 advocacy’. Both narratives are rendered intelligible using the cultural narrative of the family as a joint-working community and drawing on the egalitarian notion of mutuality. In this re-organization of meaning, the creation of the time-consuming ‘invisible’ work of practical, emotional, and moral domestic responsibilities is made visible, disentangled from the taken-for-granted link to femininity in ways that contribute to the de-gendering of domestic work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNorma: Nordisk tidsskrift for maskulinitetsstudier
Volume11
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)174-189
ISSN1890-2138
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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