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Resisting the commodification of intimate life? Paternal love, emotional bordering and narratives of ambivalent family consumerism from Scottish and Romanian fathers
Oxford Brookes University. (Alexandra Georgiana Macht)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9420-3359
2018 (English)In: Families, Relationships and Societies, ISSN 2046-7435Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Romantic love has been conceptualised as an emotional resource that promotes consumerism, bydeeply affecting the creation of the modern self (Illouz, 2012). Simultaneously, both research andmedia discourses present the modern ‘good’ father’s role as one of enhanced intimacy (Dermott,2008), and one in which fathers’ experiences of paternal love are routinely overlooked. I argue thatpaternal love as a different form of love than romantic love can resist commodification to a certainextent. Based on data from 47 qualitative interviews with Scottish and Romanian fathers, I arguethat involved fathers have an ambivalent relationship to consumerism. Far from uniformly adoptingit, data reveal that fathers resist it by focusing on the emotional value of gifts and developing theirchildren’s warmth and confidence (încredere in sine).1 This happens in a social context where fathersshift emotionally between love and stoicism as they flexibly adopt either an intimate or providerrole according to different contexts. Exploring paternal love is important in understanding howfathers, in relation to their children, not only participate but can also resist the commodificationof their intimate lives, and can contest the general discourse of the commodification of love.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bristol, 2018.
National Category
Social Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394086DOI: 10.1332/204674318X15384702551202OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394086DiVA, id: diva2:1356952
Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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