Fatherhood in the Modern World

UC Riverside scholar Derek Burrill offers insights on cultural pressures facing today’s fathers.

Father holding baby

Fathers today are taking on more roles.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Forty years after Father’s Day became an official nationwide holiday — and more than a century after the state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first Father’s day — expectations of fathers and fatherhood have never been more varied or more complex. Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17.

Derek Burrill

Derek Burrill

Derek Burrill, associate professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside, is available to discuss modern expectations of fathers and depictions of fatherhood in popular culture.

“Men today face increased demands on the home front, where the division of labor is blurring.  Men must now take care of the kids and work. Because of the recession, where more women are going back to work than men, men are taking on the role of stay-at-home parent,” Burrill says. “The cultural pressures surrounding this scenario are numerous: men must remain the breadwinner and be a ‘sturdy oak’ while also being a sensitive modern man; they must remain virile and fit while dealing with new medical issues (‘low T’, ED, ‘manopause’); and they must be supportive of their wives and children while retaining masculine freedom and the liberties of play (videogames, sports, younger women).  This is often couched in terms that find men — most often white men — as under attack and victimized by changing times!  Poor guys!  How will they deal with all of these pressures (which women have always dealt with)?”

Derek Burrill, associate professor of media and cultural studies
(951) 827-1261
derek.burrill@ucr.edu

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Additional Contacts

Derek Burrill
Tel: (951) 827-1261
E-mail: derek.burrill@ucr.edu

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