Working class fathers and daughters: Thinking about desire, identification, gender and education oa

Helen Lucey, Aina Olsvold, Helene Aarseth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Given the overwhelming attention paid to the mother-child dyad in all realms of psychology and many in sociology, what theoretical frameworks are available to us through which to explore and understand father-daughter relationships? More specifically, what significance might working class fathers, both the flesh and blood person and the 'father in the mind' so frequently approached through the realm of the imaginary, have for their daughters' relationship with education? Drawing on a longitudinal study of girls growing up from 4 to 21 years old, we look to the work of psychoanalytic and psychosocial theorists to think about the place of fathers in the educational experiences, trajectories and outcomes of working class girls and young women. In doing so, we want to disassemble some of the 'heteronormative unconscious' ideas and phantasies, so often dependent on splitting, that are attached to femininity and masculinity, especially in their classed representations. We also want to explore the ways in which the terms of gender are simultaneously fixed and fluid, binary and challenging of the binary, when we consider working class girls and young women's relationships with their fathers and the connections that these may have with education and schooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-146
Number of pages19
JournalPsychoanalysis, Culture and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • daughters
  • desire
  • education
  • fathers
  • identification
  • working class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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