The Modernization of Fatherhood Lit. Review

The Modernization of Fatherhood Lit. Review

The Modernization of Fatherhood
Book Review

The Modernization of Fatherhood
The concept of fatherhood has been through many transitions. It is important that one does study fatherhood, because without fathers society has no past. In Ralph LaRossa’s book, The Modernization of Fatherhood: A Social and Political History, there is one particular era that brings about the major change from fatherhood to new fatherhood. In LaRossa argues that the machine age is the transition of fatherhood to new fatherhood.

During the industrial age, men were seen to work outside the home. In the 1800s, society believed that women were supposed to find joy in the idea of motherhood. This idea goes along with the concept of Veblen’s conspicuous leisure. With Veblen’s conspicuous leisure, the wealthy wanted to exploit their leisure. By the mother staying home with the children, the family is exploiting their wealth by showing that the mother does not have to go into the workforce.
With the rise of the machine age came a variety of new fathers. Dorothy Smith came up with one way to put this concept together. She called it the “Standard North American Family Tree” or SNAF for short (Larossa 1997 p. 22). According to Smith, SNAF is a family made up of a legally married couple sharing a household. The father is suppose to be the one working and is the breadwinner of the family. The wife may work but her sole responsibility is within the home and the responsibilities that go with it.
Though SNAF does define the family, it is not the only one to do so. The idea of the family and fatherhood is socially constructed. Society has constructed the idea of the father being the breadwinner as being “legally and socially defined as one of [their] primary duties or responsibilities” (Lamb et. al. 1987 p.118).

Defining the Father
LaRossa uses his book to build his theory on how the foundation of the new father...

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