How Fathers Balance Work and Family in the 21st Century
NYU Press 2013
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Big IdeasNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network September 19, 2013 Marshalll Poe
Pretty much every day you can read an article–usually somewhat intemperate–about how women can or can’t “have it all.” Rarely, however, do you read anything about the way in which men try to balance work and family. The assumption seems to be that fathers either: a) don’t want to “balance” anything; or b)say they want to “balance” work and family but actually don’t, or don’t try very hard to bring it off.
As Gayle Kaufman points out in her terrific new book Superdads: How Fathers Balance Work and Family in the 21st Century (NYU Press, 2013), both of these assumptions are, well, wrong. Most American fathers want to play an active role in their family’s lives, and particularly in the rearing of their children. They face the same challenge as their working wives: how to have rich working lives and nurture their families all at the same time. In Superdads, Kaufman tries to figure out how and to what extent they are finding a good “balance.” Her answers are sobering for those wishing to “have it all.” In the lives of most men, somethings got to give. Listen to the interview and find out what.