Organized by Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Supported jointly by Dads For Life, Family Research Network and Gender Studies Minor Programme of NUS.
It will be held at the Law of Faculty, Block B, Auditorium Level 3, National University of Singapore Bukit Timah Campus.
Prof W. Jean Yeung
Asia Research Institute and Department of Sociology, NUS
This conference will provide a platform for scholars and policy makers to discuss issues related to the trend, determinants, and consequences of father involvement, as well as policies and interventions that engage men in family lives in Asia. We aim to gain a better understanding about (1) the nature of Asian menís diverse roles and challenges they face in becoming involved in their childrenís lives, (2) diverse policies and practice-based interventions related to fatherhood in Asian countries.
A number of profound demographic and socioeconomic transformations in the second half of the 20th century have significantly altered menís roles in the family. There is a heightened expectation of menís family involvement as the gender ideologies become more egalitarian, labor market attachment among women with young children strengthens, marital dissolution rates rise, and the geographic mobility increases as the globalization forces unfold. Previously expected to be primarily an economic provider and a moral teacher, the ďnew fathersĒ are now expected to also provide day-to-day physical and emotional care to children as an equal partner of the mother. Despite findings of a considerably lower level of physical involvement by fathers in the child rearing activities than mothers, recent studies have demonstrated that fatherís involvement, both in absolute and relative terms, has increased in many western industrialized countries.
A burgeoned body of literature documents the positive associations between fathersí involvement and childrenís well-being, martial relationship, and fatherís own development. Research has shown that variability in menís transitions to fatherhood predicts different trajectories and outcomes regarding father involvement and family well-being. Most such research has been conducted in the western industrialized countries. Little systematic work has been conducted on fatherhood in Asia where family research has traditionally focused on motherís roles. There is a need to understand whether and how menís family roles has changed, how they differ from those in the western societies, and what consequences such changes have on the well-being of family members. In Asia, families are experiencing rapid transitions under diverse cultural, demographic, socioeconomic, and policy contexts. For example, in many societies, patriarchy remains a dominant family ideology despite an impressive increase in womenís education and labor force participation. Many men retain the main disciplinary figure in the family and refrain from showing emotional support to children. In China, the one-child policy has had a significant impact on gender roles, and on parent-child relationships. In countries such as the Philippines or Sri Lanka, a large number of women leave their families for a long stretch of time to work in other countries, leaving children with their fathers. In Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and HK, the ďultra-lowĒ fertility rates have altered family dynamics and changed expectations to menís roles. Other trends such as an increase in interracial or transnational marriages and the wide range of work-family policies in different Asian countries are likely to have varied impact on menís family roles in these countries.
Admission is free. Do register early as seats are available on a first come, first served basis. We would greatly appreciate if you RSVP to Miss Sharon Ong via email: firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your name, email, designation, organisation/affiliation and contact number.
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