Against the Grain
Couples, Gender, and the Reframing of ParentingBook - 2010
Drawing on findings from interviews done with 32 families living in cities across Canada, Ranson challenges dominant understandings of mothering and fathering by looking closely at how couples who have opted for less traditional divisions of labour negotiate their parental and household responsibilities. Included are interviews with breadwinner mothers and caregiver fathers, and with dual-earner couples, both heterosexual and same-sex, who struggle to share equally in the nurture and support of their families. A central claim of the book is that, to the extent that both parents are equally involved in hands-on caregiving, they tend to become, over time, functionally interchangeable and move away from "mothering" and "fathering," and toward parenting. Against the Grain offers us an excellent opportunity to examine how social change happens at the forefront of family life.
"An exciting, fresh, and timely look at the experiences of mothers and fathers who challenge dominant cultural expectations in their efforts to care for their children. Ranson's analysis offers a new way of thinking about parenting." - Glenda Wall, Wilfrid Laurier University