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- Author or Editor: Tina Miller x
This chapter focuses on a qualitative longitudinal (QL) research project, Transition to Fatherhood, and later episodes of fathering and fatherhood experiences. It begins by exploring the research design of this study and considers the inherent gendered and other assumptions made in it, which mirrors an earlier research project on Transition to Motherhood. Following an examination of some of the methodological issues that arose during this qualitative longitudinal study, the chapter turns to reflect on the important question of what adding time into a qualitative study can do. It considers what happens when narratives collected in later interviews are incorporated into earlier analysis and findings as lives and fatherhood experiences change, as well as the benefits of researching individuals over time.
The ‘involved’ father, who is emotionally and economically engaged, has become a recognisable ideal in many Western societies. Policy changes have to varying degrees endorsed practices of involvement especially around the time of birth and during the early weeks and months of a child’s life. Discursive changes are discernible too as men engage a language of caring, bonding and emotional, intimate connection through ‘being there’ as a father. And research on the everyday practices of fathers also indicates some degree of change. But how far are these shifts indicative of a new type of fatherhood? In this article we document key research findings, assess their significance and most importantly assess what is the cumulative effect of these changes. We conclude that while contemporary practices of fathering must be understood and explained within broader cultural and economic milieu, the multiplicity of shifts does indeed infer a new durability.
Levels of breastfeeding in the UK remain low compared with other European countries. Qualitative research is a potential source of important data on women’s infant feeding decisions and practices, but is currently omitted from systematic reviews in the area. We report a narrative review of qualitative studies of breastfeeding in the UK, and identify two main themes around which the literature can be organised: first, women’s experiences of infant feeding and feeding decisions; second, healthcare practices and support for breastfeeding. We also reflect on the methodological issues in conducting a review of this type.