Fathers and daughters construction of fatherhood in one low-income, semi-rural, Coloured community

Scheffler, Frederika (2014-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Fatherhood literature in South Africa agrees that a look beyond the absent father phenomenon is necessary and that the focus should rather be on the potential of biological and social fathers who are present in their children’s lives. Although fathers are important in the healthy development of both boys and girls, the fathering of adolescents daughters has received limited research attention. For these reasons, this study focused on fathers and their adolescent daughters in one low-income, semi-rural, Coloured community in the Cape Winelands district of the Western Cape, South Africa. The objective of this exploratory study was to investigate fathers’ and adolescent daughters’ constructions of fatherhood. The study was informed by social constructionism and utilised a social constructionist informed grounded theory methodology. Forty-two interviews were conducted with fourteen fathers and adolescent daughters. They were interviewed separately and 29 hours and 47 minutes of interview material were obtained. Data collection, transcription, and analysis took place concurrently. Five conceptual categories were identified: Both the fathers and the daughters focused on the importance of the provider role and daughters’ obedience. Their relationship was spoken of in terms of having an understanding, while the expression of affection appeared to accompany special occasions only. Fathers also emphasised their wish for their daughters to have a better future and spoke at length about their efforts and strategies for ensuring this. Lastly, fathers’ expected daughters to do as they were told and not to follow fathers’ bad examples (e.g. alcohol abuse). The core category focused on the underlying assumptions inherent in the dynamic of the relationship, namely an hierarchical and patriarchal gender order. There seemed to be evidence of both affirmation of and resistance against the patriarchal gender order. Although it seemed that the traditional masculine and feminine ideology continue to hold sway, the presence of New Father discourse suggests the beginning of a shift towards more equitable gender relations and therefore the possibility of change. Recommendations for future research and interventions based on this analysis were also discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Binne die Suid-Afrikaanse literatuur oor vaderskap is daar ooreenstemming dat daar nie hoofsaaklik op die afwesige vader fenomeen gekonsentreer moet word nie, maar dat die potensiaal van biologiese en sosiale vaders wie wel teenwoordig in hulle kinders se lewe is, ook ondersoek moet word. Alhoewel vaders belangrik in die gesonde ontwikkeling van beide seuns en meisies is, is die navorsing oor die vaderskap van adolessente dogters beperk. Vir hierdie redes sal die studie fokus op vaders en hulle adolessente dogters in lae-inkomste, semi-landelike, Kleurling gemeenskap in die Kaapse Wynland distrik van die Wes-Kaap, Suid-Afrika. Die doelwit van hierdie ondersoekende studie was om die vaders en adolessente dogters se konstruksie oor vaderskap te ondersoek. Die studie was ingelig deur sosiale konstruksionisme en het ingeligte sosiale konstruksionistiese gegronde teoretiese metodologie gebruik. Twee-en-veertig onderhoude is afsonderlik gevoer met veertien vaders en hul adolessente dogters. Nege-en-twintig ure en 47 minute se onderhoudmateriaal is verkry. Data insameling, transkripsie en analise het gelyktydig plaasgevind. Vyf begripskategorieë was geïdentifiseer: Beide die vaders en dogters het gefokus op die belangrikheid van die pa se voorsienersrol. Verder het hul oor hul verhouding gepraat in terme van 'n “verstandhouding” waarin die vader se outoritere posisie en die dogter se gehoorsame posisie vanselfsprekend aanvaar is. Die woordelikse en fisiese uitdrukking van liefde het net sekere spesiale geleenthede vergesel. Vaders het ook die klem geplaas op hulle begeerte vir hulle dogters om beter toekoms te hê en het breedvoerig hulle pogings en strategieë bespreek om dit toe te sien. Laastens, het vaders van hul dogters verwag om hul vaders se woordelikse opdragte en leringe te volg en hul nie-navolginswaardige voorbeelde (byvoorbeeld alkoholmisbruik) te ignoreer. Die kern kategorie van die gegronde teorie wat in hierdie studie ontwikkel is, belig die onderliggende aannames inherent in die dinamika van die vader-dogter verhouding, naamlik hiërargiese en vaderregtelike geslagsorde. Dit blyk uit die narratiewe van vaders en dogtersl asof daar beide bevestiging van en weerstand teen die vaderregtelike geslagsorde is. Al het dit voorgekom dat die tradisionele manlike- en vroulike ideologie steeds aan die orde van die dag is, kan die aanwesigheid van die Nuwe Vader diskoers dui op verskuiwing na meer billike geslagsverhouding en daarom ook die moontlikheid van verandering. Aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing en ingrypings, gebaseer op hierdie analise, word ook bespreek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96061
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