‘Vulnerable fathers’, invisible fatherhood
in Between two worlds of father politics
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Chapter Five identifies an increase in the significance of fatherhood to Irish social policy debates, particularly those surrounding prosecution through the courts for non-payment of child maintenance payments, the Constitutional recognition of fathers outside marriage and normative concerns with ‘vulnerable fathers’ in Irish family support debates. The analysis reveals that the American model of fatherhood strongly influenced the politicisation of fatherhood in Ireland, and that Irish social policy debates tended to reflect normative academic traditions of avoiding Nordic, and in particular, Swedish welfare and gender ideologies in favour of selective debates concerned with a residua of ‘vulnerable fathers’.


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