Muslim Fathers’ Roles in a Context of Change

2 April 2005

Research Report:  Muslim Families from Morocco in the Netherlands: Gender Dynamics and Fathers’ Roles in a Context of Change

Author: T. Pels
Source: Current Sociology
Volume: 48 Number: 4 Page: 75 — 93
Publisher: SAGE Publications

Abstract: Based on scholarly literature and two recent studies, this article first describes gender dynamics and fathering as they have evolved in Morocco in the pre-migration period and among Moroccan families since migration to the Netherlands. The article then presents data about ideals and practices of fathering among contemporary Moroccan migrants in contrast to Dutch families. While in the Netherlands the traditional ideal of role division has given way to ideals of egalitarian role sharing, Moroccans continue to adhere to an ideology of motherhood situated within a patriarchal context. However, in the actual practice of mothering and fathering the gap between Dutch and Moroccan families appears not to be as wide as dominant ideologies suggest. We have found that, in both groups, mothers are the primary caretakers and that the increasing power of Moroccan mothers is as yet hidden from the public eye.

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