Father’s day cards

How traditional are Father’s Day cards?

How delighted, do you think, would a “new” father be upon receiving a Father’s Day card thanking him for being the breadwinner, praising him as a great, powerful man? Or do you believe he would prefer being addressed as an emotional, caring and loving parent? There is a big chance that, even if the father wishes to be praised as an emotionally oriented parent, he will most likely receive cards highlighting the traditional breadwinner role, whilst the loving, caring role is usually reserved for mothers.

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“Parenthood” – The Making of.

Guest blog post by Irene Rieder and Eva-Maria Schmidt

Worldwide, every second 2,6 babies see the light of day. Some of these babies help to transform their producers into first-time parents, a transition which involves specific gendered imaginings and manifestations. As a group of family sociologists at the University of Vienna, we are currently looking behind the scenes of these gendered practices and processes at the transition to parenthood in order to shed more light on the (in)equalities between mothers(-to-be) and fathers(-to-be). Against the backdrop of sociological research revealing a (re-)traditionalization of family roles after the birth of the first child, we ask: How does this happen? Read more

Norms of filial obligation do not necessarily serve to support ageing parents

There might be a worldwide agreement that children are obliged to provide care to their elderly parents. However, the manner in which this value manifests itself is rather diverse in different countries.

Researchers analyzed the circumstances in which the financial, emotional or instrumental help is given to the parents by their children across European countries. The study used data from the generations and gender surveys conducted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, France and Norway.

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Norms or values: What causes estrangement between mothers and adult children?

Nowadays, we observe a strong and rewarding relationship between children and their parents; the generational conflict such as the one seen in the sixties and seventies of the last century seems to have vanished. Nevertheless, the quality of relationships can suffer under tensions caused by different values and norms. A study in the US state of Massachusetts researched mother-child dyads and looked more intensively at 64 mothers who reported estrangement from at least one of their children. The authors defined the relationship as estranged when mothers reported on having no contact with the child – either face-to-face or via telephone – in the last month, or having contact of any type but less than once a month.

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