Supporting Fathers in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Insights from British Asian Fathers.

Journal Name
Journal of Social Policy
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Chowbey, Punita.
Salway, Sarah.
Clarke, Lynda.
Resource Type
Journal Article
There is concern that current UK policy and intervention aimed at supporting fathers remains primarily informed by dominant White middle-class values and experiences, and therefore fails to respond adequately to the needs of Britain's diverse fathers. This paper contributes to understanding of ethnic diversity in fathering contexts, practices and experiences, by reporting findings from a qualitative study of British Asian fathers, involving in-depth interviews with fifty-nine fathers and thirty-three mothers from Bangladeshi Muslim, Pakistani Muslim, Gujarati Hindu and Punjabi Sikh background, and over eight additional respondents engaged through Key Informant interviews, ethnographic interviews and group discussions. The paper highlights four areas that require greater recognition by policy-makers and practitioners to appropriately meet the needs of fathers from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. These are: recognising that fathers and mothers do not necessarily constitute an autonomous unit; appreciating diversity in fathers' understandings of desirable child outcomes; addressing additional obstacles to achieving similar outcomes for children; and understanding that the boundaries and content of fathering are not universally recognised. Policies that are less normative and more responsive to diversity are essential to ensure that all fathers can be effectively supported. (Author abstract)

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