Father involvement in young children's care and education: exploring boundaries and starting conversations

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Abstract

The paper analyses the impact of a UK local authority initiative - Fathers’ Friday - aiming to involve fathers in their children’s education, which took place in twenty early years’ and primary school settings. Whilst the study involved a range of methods, in this paper we use interview data associated with practitioners’ perspectives of the initiative. Theoretically, Bernstein’s concept of boundary and related notions of classification and framing provide a framework for exploring fathers’ positioning, and Bernstein’s concept of ‘voice’ helps to explain how relations are repositioned, as fathers engage with settings through their participation in the initiative. Our contention is that whilst an existing structure of social relations positions how settings and individuals can relate to one another, experiencing the Fathers’ Friday initiative under changed conditions produces a weakened boundary space for fathers, from which ‘conversations can start’. Children themselves form part of this process of redrawing weakened boundaries.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1 - 17
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Early online date24 Aug 2015
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2015

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child education
child care
father
conversation
Social Relations
primary school
participation
interview

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title = "Father involvement in young children's care and education: exploring boundaries and starting conversations",
abstract = "The paper analyses the impact of a UK local authority initiative - Fathers’ Friday - aiming to involve fathers in their children’s education, which took place in twenty early years’ and primary school settings. Whilst the study involved a range of methods, in this paper we use interview data associated with practitioners’ perspectives of the initiative. Theoretically, Bernstein’s concept of boundary and related notions of classification and framing provide a framework for exploring fathers’ positioning, and Bernstein’s concept of ‘voice’ helps to explain how relations are repositioned, as fathers engage with settings through their participation in the initiative. Our contention is that whilst an existing structure of social relations positions how settings and individuals can relate to one another, experiencing the Fathers’ Friday initiative under changed conditions produces a weakened boundary space for fathers, from which ‘conversations can start’. Children themselves form part of this process of redrawing weakened boundaries.",
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