Performing State Fatherhood: The Remaking of Hegemony

  • Michelle M. Lazar


This chapter1 is concerned with the politics at work in representations of the modern father. Particularly in contemporary industrialized societies, where women have made considerable strides in the public work arena, there has been a growing visibility and accentuation of men’s domestic identity as fathers, giving rise to a ‘culture of daddyhood’. Adapting the term from LaRossa (1997),2 I mean by this the general popularization of the paternal identity. It is not unusual these days to see fathers spending time with their children; pushing strollers in parks, and playing with them. This is particularly pronounced in the media as a common representation of modern masculinity, and is fast becoming a global trend. Governments and political leaders around the globe are not exempt from participation in the promulgation of the daddyhood culture either. In recent years, Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, cradling his newborn, was photographed performing fatherhood, which made it to the front pages of all the British newspapers in May 2000. On separate occasions, Singapore’s former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong also publicly performed fatherhood when he shared, in his 2002 National Day televised address to the nation, and again in a speech on the eve of the 2004 Lunar New Year, his own joyful experiences as a father.


Family Life Gender Relation Hegemonic Masculinity Critical Discourse Analysis Domestic Sphere 
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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© Michelle M. Lazar 2005

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  • Michelle M. Lazar

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