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Making Sense of Parenthood
Caring, Gender and Family Lives


  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107504288

£ 19.99

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About the Authors
  • Following on from Making Sense of Motherhood (2005) and Making Sense of Fatherhood (2010), Tina Miller's book focuses on transitions to first-time parenthood and the unfolding experiences of managing caring and paid work in modern family lives. Returning to her original participants, it collects later episodes of their experience of 'doing' family life, and meticulously examines mothers' and fathers' accounts of negotiating intensified parenting responsibilities and work-place demands. It explores questions of why gender equality and equity are harder to manage within the home sphere when organising caring and associated responsibilities, re-addressing the concept of 'maternal gatekeeping' and offering insights into a new concept of 'paternal gatekeeping'. The findings presented will inform both scholarly work and policy on family lives, gender equality and work.

    • A fresh look at how parenting becomes practiced in families who live together and apart, with an accessible overview of contemporary parenthood ideals and how these shape family practices
    • Presents experiences of gendered caring behaviours over time, providing further understandings of how gender operates in the home and work spheres
    • Contains rich, first-hand and accessible accounts of how caring in family lives become practiced
    • Offers insights into a new concept of 'paternal gatekeeping', and challenges and revises earlier conceptions of 'maternal gatekeeping'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Based on a unique longitudinal study, Miller not only presents a deeply insightful account as to how parenthood is continually renegotiated over time, but also of how life itself – with all its capriciousness – influences our actions and choices. At the same time she clearly shows how politics and welfare provision strongly affect the balance between work and family life. Making Sense of Parenthood: Caring, Gender and Family Lives is an essential book for policymakers, students and scholars who are interested in family and social policy studies.' Lars Plantin, Malmö University, Sweden

    'In this fascinating, meticulous and very readable book, Tina Miller draws on her rich series of in-depth interviews with mothers and fathers to offer fresh insights into the challenge of achieving truly equally shared parenting.' Rebecca Asher, author of Shattered and Man Up

    'Can a primary caring responsibility be equally shared between mothers and fathers? This is the central question addressed by Miller in her engaging and perceptive study of sixteen middle-income, dual-earner families. A longer term follow up to her earlier research, in this volume, Miller traces how the responsibility for orchestrating the care of children falls to mothers, and how, over time, this pattern becomes etched into the very fabric of family life. It is a study that gets to the heart of gendered practices of parenthood.' Bren Neale, University of Leeds

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107504288
    • length: 194 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Parenthoods: setting the contemporary context
    2. Caring landscapes and gendered practices
    3. Fathering, caring and work: parenting school aged children
    4. Mothering: caring, work and teenage children
    5. Parenting separately?: post-separation experiences
    6. Unfolding relationships: taking a longer view of moral orientations, mental work and gender in family care and work
    7. Conclusions and reflections

  • Author

    Tina Miller, Oxford Brookes University
    Tina Miller is Professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University. She is recognised internationally for her research on gendered and cultural practices in families and family transitions. She is the author of Making Sense of Motherhood (Cambridge, 2005) and Making Sense of Fatherhood (Cambridge, 2010).

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