• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Büşra KOCATEPE  Sabiha BİLGİ

  • Dates: 1 January 2009

Fatherhood as a Social Construction: The Image of Father in Mothers’ Life Stories Drawing on the life histories and daily life narratives of fifteen mothers living in a small town located in the Western Black Sea Region of Turkey, this study aims to find out how mothers define fatherhood and, in accordance to this definition of fatherhood, how they situate themselves within the society. The study focuses on the image of father in these narratives, the gendered assumptions embedded in the images of father, and the reproduction of the gendered assumptions within, and through, these narratives. In their life histories, the mothers describe the father as “reliance” and “support”. The father is associated with the public sphere and described as a person with whom the child goes outside, has fun, and plays. In the narratives, the father is a supreme figure who hardly ever makes a mistake. Even if he makes a mistake, he is excused. Considering the house, housework, and care as the areas of their sovereignty and idealizing the “new father” model that is characterized by being close and warm to children, spending time with them, and helping the spouse with the housework, the mothers establish a clear divide between the gendered roles within the family.