Making Fathers: Masculinities and Social Change in the Ghanaian Context
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAfrica Today. 2020, 67 (1), 24-47. https://doi.org/10.2979/africatoday.67.1.03
Framed within recent debates about hegemonic masculinity and in-depth historical and contemporary research on fatherhood and gender roles in Ghana, this article explores current ways of becoming and being a father in Ghana. Existing studies of fatherhood and masculinities in Ghana tend to present men in conjugal unions as patriarchal and dominating over their wives and children and fatherhood as related mainly to breadwinning and demonstrating sexual potency. Through observation studies, semi-structured interviews, and focusgroup discussions with fathers from urban and rural contexts, this article explores multiple ways of achieving masculinity through fatherhood and ways in which new fathering ideals and expectations come to be incorporated into local gendered ideals. It suggests that alongside values of providing for their families, ideals of involved fatherhood emerge among the study participants, indicating early signs of a shift away from established sociocultural gendered expectations of hegemonic masculinity.