Marco Deriu (University of Parma)
Marco Deriu is Researcher in “Sociology of cultural and communication processes” and Assistant Professor of “Sociology of cultural and communicative processes” and “Sociology of political and environmental communication” at the Department of Arts, Literature, History and Social Studies of the University of Parma (Italy). He is a member of the Italian Degrowth Association and of the National Association Maschile Plurale. He is the author – among others – of the books: La fragilità dei padri. Il disordine simbolico paterno e il confronto con i figli adolescenti, Unicopli, Milano, 2004; Dizionario critico delle nuove guerre, Emi, Bologna, 2005; Sguardi stranieri sulla “nostra” città, (with Parma per gli altri), Battei, Parma, 2015. He edited – among others – the volumes: Gregory Bateson, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2000; Il dolce avvenire. Esercizi di immaginazione radicale del presente, Diabasis, Reggio Emilia, 2009 (with A. Bosi and V. Pellegrino); Il futuro nel quotidiano. Studi sociologici sulla capacità di aspirare, Egea, Milano, 2012 (with O. de Leonardis); Davide e Golia. La primavera delle economie diverse, Jaca Book, Milano, 2013 (with L. Bertell, A. De Vita, G. Gosetti). He also edited the two reports: Anche gli uomini possono cambiare. Il percorso del centro LDV di Modena, Regione Emilia Romagna, Bologna, 2012; Il continente sconosciuto. Gli uomini e la violenza maschile, Regione Emilia Romagna, Bologna, 2012.
“New Fathers” and Care: Expectations, Aspirations and Resources
The relationship of men with Care is more complex than it is usually thought. There are forms of “care” that fall in the “cultural male codes” and others that are considered feminine and delegated to women. It is therefore important to understand on what grounds there is more resistance and more work to do to realise a social change on the paternal care. This connects to the fact that what emerges in the research and in experiences with the group of fathers is that also the “new fathers”, more involved in the activities of care, distribute their energies and their time on some care activities, rejecting or “forgetting” others. There is therefore a sort of “gender grid” even in the investment on care among “new fathers”. We must then discuss new and old “canon” of male care. Being involved in care for today’s fathers means to reckon with children but also with their fathers and mothers (that is their experience as children), as well as with the current partners. It acts therefore a constant comparison on three different levels that can generate situations of difficulty or creativity. It is also necessary to recognize that there is a confrontation and a dialectic among the current social expectations toward “new fathers”, their real desires and aspirations and the actual “resources” held by concrete people. This dialectic can give the best results when there is a connection and a successful synthesis between these three dimensions, but it can create ambivalence, tensions, conflicts and even violence, when they differ among themselves. From this point of view we must consider how we can work to strengthen the resources and the creative abilities of new fathers.