American Sociological Association

Stay-at-Home Fatherhoods

Nazneen Kane on the many motivations driving choices to father full-time.

I was the only mom at the park, outnumbered not by nannies and babysitters but by stay-at-home fathers. Unlike my Washington, D.C. neighborhood, where privileged children were customarily tended by European au pairs and stay-at-home mothers, the children at this park in Cincinnati, Ohio were hanging out with their dads while mom acted as the primary breadwinner.

The greatest increase in stay-at-home fatherhood is among men who decide to stay at home to care for their family. Of course, economic and pragmatic factors figure in, too.

One set of dads was primarily comprised of White, college-educated, middle-upper class men choosing at-home fatherhood. Another group was primarily Black, unemployed men fathering at or below the poverty line with few, if any, alternatives. Stay-at-home fathers are diverse and their family lives are deeply unequal; there are multiple stay-at-home fatherhoods.


Nazneen Kane






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