If History Be Our Guide….

I recently asked sociologist and fatherhood expert, Dr. Ralph LaRossa, how he felt the current recession would impact the role of fatherhood, given his vast knowledge in this particular area. Here’s what he wrote:

“If history is a guide, at least two scenarios may play out. During the Great Depression, a number of men withdrew physically and/or psychologically from their families. Thus, in terms of the conduct of fatherhood, there is evidence of a decline. On the other hand, the economic crisis helped to fuel positive changes in the culture of fatherhood, with “experts” further encouraging men to play a greater role in the life of the children, and the business community pushing hard to institutionalize Father’s Day. Thus, in terms of the culture of fatherhood, we see progression.” (Ralph LaRossa, The Modernization of Fatherhood: A Social and Political History. University of Chicago Press, 1997.)

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