When equal partners become unequal parents: Couple relationships and intensive parenting culture
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL POLICY, SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Abstract: Based on longitudinal research with (heterosexual) couples in the UK, Charlotte Faircloth talks about their experiences of becoming parents for the first time. The suggestion is that new parents are caught in an uncomfortable confluence between competing discourses around ideal relationships and those around ideal parenting. On the one hand, they must be committed to egalitarian ideals about the division of care. On the other, they must be parenting ‘intensively’, in ways which are markedly more demanding for mothers, and which makes paternal involvement more complicated.
Drawing on accounts of relationship difficulties, elicited over a 5-year period, Charlotte Faircloth demonstrates the incommensurability of these ideals at physiological, material and ideological levels. As a contribution to the body of work known as Parenting Culture Studies, for the first time, empirical focus is given to the question of how an ‘intensive’ parenting culture affects couples, rather than just mothers or fathers.
The seminar will be followed by drinks and snacks in the lunch room.
All are very welcome!