Pappahandbooks: Guidebooks for Dads in Twenty-First Century Sweden

  • Helena Wahlström Henriksson


“In Sweden, Men Can Have It All”—in 2010 this intriguing claim headlined an article in The New York Times on parental leave in Sweden.1 Swedish men’s access to family life in general, and to their children in particular, has been the focus of a range of discourses especially since the 1990s, and the specific history of parental politics in Sweden—especially the parental leave system—is a significant factor behind the increasing visibility of fathers in this national context.2 Fathers often hold center stage in the cur rent media debates about parenthood, as well as in Scandinavian gender studies research, where studies on “new fathers” are much more common than studies of (new) mothers.3 While discourses on fathers have specific inflections in the Swedish papa-political context, the expanding interest is also part of an international—not least Anglo-Saxon—trend of investigating and “redefining” fatherhood, problematizing meanings of fatherhood in nonpatriarchal or postpatriarchal familial contexts, and investigating the (gap between) norms or ideals on the one hand and practices or lived experiences on the other.4


Gender Equality Parental Leave Family Policy Hegemonic Masculinity Primary Parent 
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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© Helena Wahlström Henriksson 2016

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  • Helena Wahlström Henriksson

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