Session: Finding Our Space: The Voices of Women in the Field of Fatherhood (Society for Social Work and Research 28th Annual Conference - Recentering & Democratizing Knowledge: The Next 30 Years of Social Work Science)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST).

SSWR 2024 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 11. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

263 Finding Our Space: The Voices of Women in the Field of Fatherhood

Saturday, January 13, 2024: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Archives, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Tova Walsh, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brianna Lemmons, PhD, Baylor University, Otima Doyle, PhD, University of Illinois Chicago, Latrice Rollins, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine, Marsha Pruett, PhD, Smith College and Inna Altschul, PhD, University of Denver
Recent decades have seen an increase in attention to the ways that fathers contribute to children's lives, health and development. Social work researchers have made important contributions to knowledge in this area, studying fathers' involvement with their children and their children's other caregivers, parenting and co-parenting, and engagement in child and family services. Social work researchers have examined barriers faced by fathers, especially fathers with low income, who are unmarried, and from minoritized communities; and developed strategies to reduce barriers and increase father involvement with children and engagement in services to support and strengthen families. Social work researchers have also sought to recenter and democratize knowledge on fatherhood through scholarship that applies a gender lens, is grounded in a commitment to racial equity and social justice, and directly engages the voices of fathers. This roundtable brings together a diverse group of women scholars who are engaged in research on fatherhood from a variety of perspectives. Participants will discuss their fatherhood related research and offer their thoughts on critical questions that need to be answered in coming decades. They will discuss the trajectory of the field, highlight paradigm shifts - such as shifting to learning directly from fathers about their roles and realities rather than through maternal reports; adopting a strengths perspective in research with fathers of color as a corrective to a long legacy of racial pathologizing that harms fathers and families - and address next steps in practice and research, including relevant theories and frameworks that can be applied to continue recentering and democratizing knowledge in the next 30 years of social work science. All roundtable panelists identify as cis women and will discuss their experiences as women conducting fatherhood research. First, we will discuss what women contribute to fatherhood research and how our intersectional identities inform our work and the way we and our work are received. We also will discuss lessons learned about doing our work with sensitivity and attention to our own positionality. Then, we will consider how sexism, heterosexism, and racism shape not only the lived experiences of fathers, but the experiences of women fatherhood researchers. Our goal in this roundtable is to hold a candid discussion among women in fatherhood research about experiences, challenges, and opportunities. We will reflect together on how our identities influence our motivations to conduct fatherhood research, the ways in which we engage in our work, and shape all stages of the research process, including interactions with participants. This roundtable will stimulate rich discussion regarding the role of gender in fatherhood research, with broad relevance for the consideration of how social identities influence knowledge creation across the breadth of social work research.
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