Turkish fathering today: an enquiry and discussion arising from the views of Turkish fathers and Turkish young people
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date25/11/2020
Our knowledge of parenting is determined by what mothers usually do for children and ‘fathering’ is described by comparing it to mothering. Fathers, as far as their relationship within their families is concerned, are part of a dynamic process that had not enough academic attention to fathers and adolescents together. The vast majority of the fathering research has been undertaken in anglophone societies and we know much less as to whether the insights we have as regards fathers and fathering pertain in other cultures and non-English speaking societies. Researchers have also neglected the influence of religion on parenting. This study concerns Turkish fathers and fathering and contributes to the ‘fathering and fatherhood’ literature. 18-father- and 14-adolescentinterviews and 580 father-adolescent-pair questionnaires were analysed to comprehend Turkish fathers’ and adolescents’ perspectives on their fathering. Fathers aspired to be a better father than their own fathers e.g. in terms of being closer and more responsive to their children's needs. The fathers struggled with balancing authority and friendship in their relationships with their children. The children perceived their fathers as old fashioned and behind contemporary approaches to fathering even when fathers perceived themselves as closer, warmer, more caring responsive and involved than their own fathers. Children's reaction, time and place (ie context) all affect fathers' parenting so that much variety in fathering can be seen at any one time. Fathers perceive girls as more fragile so that they tend to be more expressive of emotions with girls than boys. They also tend to have more protective behaviour towards their daughters than their sons so that girls' socialising outside is more restricted than that of boys. Islam has a positive effect on father-child involvement via the Quran and hadiths regarding protection, closeness, model behaviour and spending time together, this is more the case for sons. Turkish fatherhood today emerges as in a state of flux with a mix of traditional and modern features; the former typified by authority and distance from their children and the later symbolised by a closer relationship with their children.
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