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CCIG Forum 31 'Fathers and Fatherhood'

Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 11:00 - 16:00

Christodoulou Meeting Rooms, Room 15, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

This CCIG Forum explored representation and experience of fatherhood.

CCIG Psychosocial and Families, Relationships and Communities Research Programmes have organised the CCIG forum 31 dedicated to 'Fathers and fatherhood: policy, representation and experience'.

In the current climate fathers and fatherhood have come to occupy a central position in policy agendas while representations of fathers and fathering have become pervasive in popular culture and advertising. Yet questions remain about how to make sense of this proliferation of interest and concern. At the same time psychic, intersubjective and and microsocial experiences of being fathered and doing fathering is a relatively unexplored area in social science inquiry.

This Forum engaged with these different levels of policy, representation and experience by bringing together psychosocial, historical and sociological insights to questions of fathers, fatherhood and fathering.  Its theoretical focus was wide ranging with speakers addressing such issues as:

  • intersubjectivity
  • relationality
  • autonomy and connectedness
  • care
  • emotion
  • memory
  • policy making and welfare practice


11.00-11.15 Welcome and introductions

Jef Huysmans (CCIG Director), Gail Lewis (Psychosocial Research Programme), Janet Fink and Jacqui Gabb (Families, Relationships and Communities Research Programme)


Professor Margaret O’Brien (University of East Anglia) Fathers, work and families in twenty-first century Britain. Beyond the breadwinner model?

Dr Jacqui Gabb (The Open University), Brid Featherstone, Esther Dermott, Sandy Ruxton, Embodied absence: the use of daily diaries in research on post-separation fathering

12.45-13.15 General discussion

13.15-14.00 Lunch


Dr Martin Robb (The Open University): 'With prayer from your loving father': faith and fatherhood in one man's letters to his son during the First World War

Dr Gail Lewis (The Open University): Where might I find you? Objects and internal space for the father

15.00-15.15 Tea/coffee

15.15-16.00 General discussion