Abstract — Traditionally, mothers held the role of primary caretaker at home while fathers were expected to be the primary providers for the family. Social and economic changes in the US over the past four decades have seen more mothers enter the labor market. While mothers are still doing more domestic work, fathers are catching up. However, fathers face a lag in parenting norms as they are still considered primary breadwinners.
In this talk, I will present my work investigating how fathers use social media to craft their new parenting identities. I use a mixed methods approach including interviews, rhetorical analysis and machine learning techniques. First, I will show how fathers present their caretaking work through do-it-yourself (DIY) projects which allow them to legitimize traditionally feminine tasks by framing them in the masculine tropes of DIY and the maker culture. I then present a study showing how Reddit can provide a supportive space for fathers to craft new individual and collective identities. I show how online communities can facilitate fatherhood identity negotiation at scale.
About the Speaker — Tawfiq Ammari is a PhD candidate in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Jordan. He later earned his Master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Information in 2013. Tawfiq worked as a research assistant at UMSI for a year. He is interested in parenting and social media use. He is also interested in the use of social media by parents of children with special needs.
Host: Aws Albarghouthi