Sociology of Families and Social Problems

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SOC2604 SEMESTER 1 ASSIGNMENT 2 UNIQUE NUMBER: 783503 Question 1 TOPIC: Compare motherhood and fatherhood ideologies with each other. Table of Contents | | Page | 1. Introduction | 1 | 2. Motherhood | 1 | 3. Fatherhood | 1 | 4. Conclusion | 2 | 5. List of Sources | 2 | 1. INTRODUCTION Throughout history, parenting roles of mothers and fathers have been defined as distinctly different from each other. Mothers, as the child carriers, have been dubbed as primarily responsible for the care of the children while fathers have mostly been defined as heads of the family, breadwinners and protectors. 2. MOTHERHOOD Women have over the years tried to redefine themselves as more than just child bearers and carers by being more active in the workplace and the economy. However, this has done little to change the perception society and women themselves hold that, without the motherhood role, their lives are not complete. Newman (1995:268) puts it that women have been conditioned by society into believing that “having children is a primary source of self-identity”. To date, motherhood is viewed as a woman’s basic mission and an inseparable part of her nature such that the link between a mother and a child is often taken for granted. Women are supposedly drawn into motherhood by their inner instincts, which also guarantee their children’s healthy growth and development. This natural ability is often credited for the close relationship mothers usually have with children and supposedly makes the woman the best possible nurturer. 3. FATHERHOOD Unlike a mother’s, a father’s link to children is easily downplayed. Although in the Westernised cultures patriarchy is no longer as steadfast, in African cultures it is still prevalent. In African families, the relationship between men and their children is often distant and this is
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