From Sesame Workshop senior fellow and digital-age parenting expert Jordan Shapiro, a thoughtful and long-overdue exploration on fatherhood and masculinity in the 21st century.
There are hundreds of books on parenting, and with good reason -- becoming a parent is scary, difficult, and life-changing. But when it comes to books about parenting identity, rather than the nuts and bolts of raising children, nearly all are about what it's like to be a mother. If you're looking for information about what it means to be a father, you'll find the bookstore shelves surprisingly bare.
Drawing on research in sociology, economics, psychology, cultural history, and the author's own experiences, FATHER-FIGURE sets out to fill that gap. It's an exploration of the psychology of fatherhood from an archetypal perspective (Think: Women Who Run With The Wolves for fathers) as well a cultural history of fatherhood that explains how we got to where we are. What are the paradoxes inherent in our current understanding of dads? Might it be time to rethink some of the current aspects of fatherhood?
Gender norms are changing, and old economic models are facing disruption. As a result, parenthood and family life are undergoing an existential transformation. And yet, the narratives and images of dads available to us are wholly inadequate for this transition. Victorian and Industrial Age tropes about fathers not only dominate the media, but also contour most people's lived experience. FATHER-FIGURE offers a badly-needed update to our collective understanding of fatherhood -- and masculinity in general -- that highlights what's essential about fatherhood while guiding us to an image of manliness reimagined for the modern world.