Baba: Men and Fatherhood in South Africa

18 October 2005

Baba: Men and Fatherhood in South AfricaBaba: Men and Fatherhood in South Africa provides answers to some of the most difficult questions about fatherhood in South Africa: Who is a father? What does it mean to be a father? Is it important for fathers to do more for children in a world that assumes that mothers take the primary parenting role? Do different people understand fatherhood in different ways? What evidence is there of new fatherhood styles emerging in South Africa?

Authors from a range of backgrounds and disciplines break new ground as they explore the centrality of fatherhood in the lives of men and in the experiences of children. They show how fathers’ involvement contributes to the wellbeing of children. The authors argue that men can make a major contribution to the health of South African society by caring for children and producing a new generation of South Africans for whom men will be significant by their positive presence rather than by their absence or their abuse.

Section 1 – Opening lines

  • Introduction – Robert Morrell and Linda Richter
  • Fathers, fatherhood and masculinity in South Africa – Robert Morrell
  • On being a father and poor in Southern Africa today – Francis Wilson
  • The demographics of fatherhood in South Africa – Dori Posel and Richard Devey
  • Fathers and children: Necessary or nice? – Linda Richter

Section 2 – Fatherhood in historical perspective

  • Migrancy, family dissolution and fatherhood – Mamphele Ramphele
  • The state as non-biological ‘father’: Explaining the experience of fathering in a South African state institution – Azeem Badroodien 
  • Fathers without amandla: Zulu-speaking men and fatherhood – Mark Hunter
  • Men and children: Changing constructions of fatherhood in Drum magazine 1951-1965 – Lindsay Clowes

Section 3 – Representations and roles

  • The father in the mind – Graham Lindegger
  • Where have all the fathers gone? Media(ted) representationsof fatherhood – Jeanne Prinsloo
  • Representations of fatherhood in film: Some thoughts on race and parenting in South Africa – Solani Ngobeni
  • Children’s views of fathers – Linda Richter and Wendy Smith
  • Fathers in Africa – Desmond Lesejane
  • Fatherhood as a socio-moral process – Nhlanhla Mkhize

Section 4 – The context and experience of being a father in South Africa today

  • Legal aspects of fatherhood – Jacqui Gallinetti
  • Men, work and parenting – Alan Hosking
  • AIDS and the new crisis of care for children – Chris Desmond and Cos Desmond
  • The absent fathers: Why do men not feature in stories of families affected by HIV/AIDS? – Philippe Denis and Radikobo Ntsimane
  • Being a father in a man’s world: The experience of goldmine workers – Marlize Rabe
  • Fathers don’t stand a chance: Experiences of cutody, access and maintenance – Grace Khunou

Section 5 – Local and international policies and programmes

  • The new gender platforms and fatherhood – Dean Peacock and Mbuyiselo Botha
  • The child’s right to shared parenting – Pat Engle, Tom Beardshaw & Craig Loftin
  • Taking forward work on men in families – Tom Beardshaw
  • Conclusion – Linda Richter and Robert Morrell

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