Browsing by Author "van den Berg, Wessel Jan"
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- ItemSouth African men's engagement in a feminist ethic of care: an extended case study(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) van den Berg, Wessel Jan; Fakier, Khayaat; Pattman, Rob; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Women in South Africa spend eight times more time on unpaid domestic and care work than men. Motivated by this unequal distribution of care, I aimed to investigate how men in South Africa participate in household child care and subsequently conducted an extended case study to explore how men who live in affluent neighbourhoods in Stellenbosch, South Africa, carry out the care of their young children. The dissertation includes documented social encounters, semi-structured interviews and participant observation conducted at participants’ homes or during family activities. The extended case study method provides a framework for research that is grounded in reflexive science. It allows for contribution to theory from empirical work, and for the consideration of macro-structural social forces such as policies and customs and micro-structural observations with families. Both the method and the theory of the case study were anchored in a post-structural feminist perspective that draws on discourses related to care, critical masculinities, engagements of men in gender equality, and fatherhood-focused psychology. The overarching theoretical framework that was used for the extended case study is based on Joan Tronto’s political argument for an ethic of care. For the theoretical lens through which the study was conducted, I complemented Tronto’s theory with contemporary post-structural feminist, critical masculinities, and fatherhood psychology literature. The empirical observations and findings are structured in accordance with the political framework that Tronto provided of the four phases of an ethic of care, namely caring about, caring for, giving care, and receiving care. In each instance, the findings are supplemented with more specific sociological and psychological theory related to the phase, drawing on the theoretical lens that was established in the initial theory chapter. The penultimate chapter describes the macro-structural forces that influenced men’s care interactions, including policies, kinship expectations and social norms. The study concludes with the argument that ‘men’s care interactions can contribute to democratic citizenship, and expand fathering beyond patriarchy’. I support this claim by describing how men’s care interactions expanded social norms of fathering, and provide suggestions for future theoretical avenues of research and intervention development.