Journal Article

Shifting perspectives: Becoming a feminist researcher while studying fatherhood and love


In family studies, writing from the heart is a political gesture. In this paper I present some reflections on the process of researching fatherhood, and through this example foreground the analytical connections between family and feminist methodologies. The aim of my doctoral research, on which I base this manuscript, was understanding how involved fathers experience love for their children in two different socio-political contexts, those of Romania and Scotland. I chose these two locations to understand if certain ways of feeling travel from the Western to the Eastern part of Europe. However, these two locations also represent the place of my birth (Romania) and of my work (Scotland). Travelling between them has shaped how I approached my research design and influenced how I re-constructed the social world of fathers during the stages of data collection and analysis. In this process, as a researcher I experienced some setbacks as I was writing, because personal memories of my family relationships rose to the surface asking for inclusion and interpretation. The analysis presented in this article is thus a multi-layered one: by using a feminist analytical lens I re-evaluated my childhood memories of being parented and have altered my understanding of the meaning of parental love; by interacting with fathers during fieldwork, I saw my relationship to my father in a new light and grew to develop a deeper understanding of the emotional complexities of gender dynamics.

Attached files


Macht, Alexandra

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year: 2019

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