Funding has ended

As of today, the funding for this study has come to an end. This doesn’t mean that the project is over, there is so much writing to be done, but it does mean that the findings have been generated and analysis of data is well underway.

On Thursday 14th June 2018 I held an end of research seminar at the University of Lincoln which included keynote presentations from Prof. Bren Neale, Director of Following Young Fathers and Dr Kahryn Hughes, Director of the Timescapes Archive and Intergenerational Exchange. Both have been incredibly generous with their time and support. Copies of their presentations are available to view below.


Following Young Fathers, Prof. Bren Neale

Intergenerational Exchange, Dr Kahryn Hughes and Dr Nick Emmel

Dr Anna Tarrant: Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care

Evidence exhibition

I also presented an exhibition of some of the key findings from the study. These are described in more detail on the project website here. It is hoped that the prints can be presented at other exhibitions and events in order to challenge prevailing narratives about men in low income families and given them more of a voice about their participation in family life.

Poster Presentations

Three poster presentations were also presented on the day by postgraduate students at the University of Lincoln. With thanks to Se Bond-Taylor, Mary Brown and Nicola Shore for sharing your work.

The Myth of the Fatherless Society

I am delighted to announce that Dr Mike Ward (Swansea University) and I have had a short article published in The Conversation. ‘The Myth of the Fatherless Society‘ draws on our previous and ongoing research (Beyond Male Role Models; grandfatherhood; and Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care) to critique the ‘crisis of fatherlessness’ narrative that has recently re-emerged again in the language used by policy makers to explain the problems facing young people, including boys in particular. We argue several things in the article:

  • That the focus of this narrative is over-simplistic in its focus on fathers and gender,
  • That fears about family breakdown are overblown,
  • That it has a tendency to stigmatise working-class men and families in particular,
  • Is based on lazy discourses like ‘feckless’ and ‘absence’, that do not take account of contexts of poverty and disadvantage,
  • Ignores modern family structures and forms, as well as fathering across households and within,
  • Focuses too simplistically on gender, while research demonstrates that role models don’t have to be men to support young people successfully.