9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 The Social Construction of Parenting Building II, Auditório B1.03

There's no example for parenting, We always fail: dilemmas of parenthood in the beginning of the XXI first century

The aim of this paper is to asses the transformations of parenthood and child care in the beginning of XXI first century. We intend to analyse the significance parenthood has for mothers and fathers and the ways Portuguese families take care of their children.
Parenthood is considered something wonderful. However, both men and women recognize the difficulties of parenthood: the greatest responsibilities; greatest work, greatest worries; financial problems; the problems with children growing up. At the same time, it seems to have been a greatest participation of parents in children education. The narratives point out to the whish of parents spending more time with their kids, but practices still show a bigger participation of mother's in childcare.

What is the importance of children for men and women? What are the implications of having a child in the individual's lives'? What is the meaning of being a father/mother? Who takes care of children? These are some central questions we intend to answer, based on the results of in-depth interviews, done in Lisbon, Porto, Leiria and Faro, to individuals which live in couple and are at different moments of their life cycle and come from different social backgrounds.