Pops in Pop Context
  • Elizabeth Podnieks


“So, if today’s dad is no longer the all-business provider who is less emotion ally engaged than Mom, and he’s not the bumbling, disconnected dad of the past 30 years in popular culture (read: Homer Simpson), then who is he?” Pops in Pop Culture explores contemporary representations of the father in order to contribute to our understanding of who he is in the twenty-first century. The question “who is he?”1 along with related queries like what does he do, what does he want, and what do we expect of him have been driving discourses of fatherhood throughout Western societies over the past decade. The media is especially preoccupied with the changing roles of, and consequent challenges and rewards for, the so-called “new father” of the millennium. Recent newspaper and magazine articles set the tone: “Modern Fathers Face New Expectations” (from which the opening quotation is taken), “Men Get Depressed about Not Having Kids,” “Daddy Is Not a Babysitter,” “Papa’s Got a Brand New (Vacuum) Bag,” “Don’t Call Him Mom, or an Imbecile,” “Ways to Be a Great Father, Regardless of Your Sexuality,” “Dreams of a Stay-at-Home Dad,” “Involved Dads Want a New Identity,” “Calling Mr. Mom?” and “Manifesto of the New Fatherhood.” Headlines like these announce a variety of topics and debates about paternal identity, ones that inform this collection. Pops in Pop Culture considers how fatherhood is defined in relation to masculinity and femininity, the shifting structures of the heteronormative nuclear family, and perceptions of the father as the traditional breadwinner and authoritarian versus a more engaged and involved nurturer.


Popular Culture Hegemonic Masculinity Modern Family Cultural Text Male Role Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Elizabeth Podnieks 2016

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  • Elizabeth Podnieks

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