What is the role of fathers in South Africa?

What do we know about fathers in South Africa, what their roles are and what they should try to encourage? This large online book outlines how there is a difference between fathers and fatherhood. Fatherhood is not in fact a biological given, but rather something which is contested and understood based on what it means to be a man in a particular context. This book argues that biological fathers should be encouraged to be close to their children and responsibly take on fatherhood roles. However other men need to also do this when the biological father dies or is absent. This collection of chapters examines the many angles of fatherhood and presents some of these contextual influences by stressing that poverty, often hand-in-hand with migrant labour and HIV/AIDS, has resulted in a ‘dislocated social structure’ frequently resulting in fathers being unable to fulfill social and economic responsibilities to children.

Authors: Linda Richter and Robert Morrell

Institutional Sponsor: Human Sciences Research Council

 

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