Esther Dermott (2003) 'The 'Intimate Father': Defining Paternal Involvement'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 8, no. 4, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/8/4/dermott.html>
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Received: 18/11/2003 Accepted: 17/11/2003 Published: 28/11/2003
'When the kids came along it was just, I am a modern father, I want to be involved with my kids.' (Jack)
'I wanted to be really involved in what they do and kind of, really, to enjoy seeing them growing up.' (Gareth)
'I had always seen myself as a Flintstone type father, you know, out to work, out to the office, while mother stays at home and looks after the children.' (Hugh)
'Not too interested in the domestic day-to-day stuff. He [the father] is the provider, he is the breadwinner.' (Bill)
'I think it had a very dramatic effect...the relationship with your own child is so different from anything else you can possibly experience.' (Hugh)
'I'm a broader, more rounded individual as a result of having children.' (Bill)
'I didn't want to be like my own dad. No, he's a nice guy and everything, but he's a little bit distant with small children. He's a kind of intellectual, kind of academic guy and if people can't talk to him in long sentences with lots of subordinate clauses he doesn't tend to be that interested in them. So that excludes, obviously, children. I didn't want to be like that, I wanted to try and relate to kids on their own level.' (Phil)
'My father was very remote to me when I was very little... when I was starting to get stroppy [as a teenager]. I suppose, I was just, not wanting to be like that, not wanting to be reactive.... My perception of him was that he was the one who stopped me doing things and then gave up on me.' (Simon)
'I mean, I saw with my father, he was, sort of, very dedicated to his family but quite distant as well.... So I would say that he was close to me, but not in the way of showing emotions or talking about things, or like necessarily being very open about things. And so, I suppose, I always aspired to try to be more open with my children. I mean, I'm not saying he was uninvolved or didn't care, but I would, well, I wanted to be really involved in what they do.' (Gareth)
'My father was disabled, so he couldn't play that sort of active role which he would have wanted to have played - as he could see fathers of my friends [playing]. I thought I would be like them.' (George)
'In my own family my father was very dictatorial, to my mother and towards us as kids. He wasn't a fraction as involved with us as I have been with my children. He worked, he came home late from work, he went to sleep on the couch. Weekends we were out doing things with our friends and stuff....I didn't have that playing time with my father so much....I had things that I saw in my father's relationships that I didn't want to repeat.' (Jack)
'I wanted to be like the memory I had of my father because we had a very good relationship.' (Greg)
'I am very close to my father and I think he's a wonderful man.' (Hugh)
'I knew that it was unlikely that I would be around all day, but I knew that at the end of the day, I should put work behind me and should throw myself into whatever is left of the day for the children...given that I have a long journey home from work.' (Greg)
'I don't see, in any sense, that I did not have time with my father. You know if I think back to my childhood, I have what seems a lot of time with my father. But I'm sure it can't have been [true] because I was at boarding school, apart from anything else, and he was in the Navy. Yet I don't feel any lack of involvement from him as a child.' (Hugh)
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