Gender, Work and Organization
Hegemonic representations of masculinity and dominant images of fatherhood have usually been linked to the domain of work. This article explores the experiences of men under the hardship of unemployment and the impact of these experiences on the construction of their gender identities, specifically on the construction of their fatherhood identity. In addition, the article examines how culture and national context affect the interrelationship between unemployment and fatherhood. Drawing on a post-structural constructivist theoretical perspective, the article describes a qualitative study of low-income unemployed Palestinian fathers in Israel. The study examines three areas of interest: perceptions of fatherhood, the experience of unemployment and the impact of unemployment on the construction of fatherhood. On the theoretical level, the article proposes a conceptualization of the relationship between unemployment and fatherhood. It argues that in order to generalize the impact of unemployment on fatherhood, we must first examine the context in which gendered and cultural perceptions of fatherhood are embedded. On a policy level, the article offers some recommendations for developing more contextualized, gender- and cultural-sensitive policies for unemployed fathers. (Author abstract)
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