Masculinity, Subjectivities, and Caregiving in the British Press: The Case of the Stay-at-Home Father

  • Abigail Locke


On February 17, 2009, the then leader of one of the opposition parties in the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, was quoted as saying that the recession—the “mancession” as it has been called in some quarters—and the resulting large-scale unemployment, gave fathers the chance to be more involved in their parenting. The media response was immediate and openly critical of Clegg’s ideas and soon it became referred to in the press as the “Clegg Gaffe.” Much of this criticism centered on notions of masculinity and what it means to be a father. This chapter examines the contemporary cultural context of fatherhood in the United Kingdom, taking by way of example fathers who have become the primary caregivers for their children. Through a discursive analysis of articles in British national newspapers from 2007–13, we can ascertain how discourses of masculinity are inherently tied to issues around parenting and fathering, and consider this in light of the growing interest in “involved fathering.”


Gender Role Primary Caregiver Father Involvement Hegemonic Masculinity Paternal Involvement 
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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