By Laura King
Fathers are usually overlooked in histories of relatives lifestyles in Britain. Family Men presents the 1st educational examine of fathers and households within the interval from the 1st international struggle to the tip of the Nineteen Fifties. It takes a thematic strategy, analyzing assorted features of fatherhood, from the tasks it encompassed to the ways that it regarding men's identities. The ancient method is socio-cultural: every one bankruptcy examines a variety of historic resource fabrics with a view to examine either cultural representations of fatherhood and similar social norms, in addition to exploring the practices and reports of people and households. It uncovers the debates surrounding parenting and relations lifestyles and tells the tales of fellows and their children.
While many historians have tested men's courting to the house and kinfolk in histories of gender, family members existence, family areas, and sophistication cultures extra in general, few have in particular tested fathers as an important relations, as old actors, and as emotional participants. The heritage of fatherhood is very major to modern debate: assumptions approximately fatherhood some time past are always used to aid arguments concerning the country of fatherhood at the present time and the necessity for switch or in a different way sooner or later. Laura King charts men's altering reviews of fatherhood, suggesting that even supposing the jobs and tasks fulfilled by means of males didn't shift swiftly, their relationships, place within the kin, and identities underwent major swap among the beginning of the 1st global conflict and the Sixties.
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Additional resources for Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, 1914-1960
H’, writing in October 1918, explored the possibility of the state paying for the upbringing of children, leaving men and women to earn as much or as little as they wanted to support themselves. 55 That the letters published were from outspoken feminists, namely Pethick-Lawrence and Ada Nield Chew, who disagreed amongst themselves in these letters, would have further served to undermine arguments for direct state allowances to mothers. Whilst the Manchester Guardian was by no means a conservative newspaper, it was in this case against such an endowment for motherhood, if not actively supportive of the maintenance of the male breadwinner model.
41 In the 1930s, due to the much-despised means test, working children frequently had to move out of the family home to allow their parents and siblings to receive the maximum unemployment allowance. This was an affront to the male breadwinner role and, for many men, this crystallized their lack of ability to act as provider. ’42 The inability of fathers to fulfil their role as breadwinners due to unemployment was frequently discussed in the press, especially the Manchester Guardian. Unemployment also formed the focus of numerous surveys, as various commentators sought to discover its consequences for family life.
Children who suffered poverty in this way often recalled this in later life, through autobiographies, interviews, and so on; the perspectives of fathers who failed to provide are harder to find. Dick Beavis, for example, born in the early part of the First World War in County Durham, wrote of his father’s irresponsibility: ‘old dad was working but he had an awful habit of spending the pay in the pub’. 8. 3. 21. 34 Dick Beavis, What Price Happiness? My Life from Coal Hewer to Shop Steward (Whitley Bay, 1980), pp.
Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, 1914-1960 by Laura King