Family History Essay

1144 Words5 Pages
This essay will explore the role gender has played in the life of my father, both in relation to him and his masculine identity and his experiences of fatherhood. My piece is based on both the experiences I have had growing up and a short interview I had with my father a few days ago. I will attempt to critically analyze the information I obtained aided by the course readings and the various concepts discussed in class with respect to the male identity and how it is affected both socially and culturally. Such concepts which are to be discussed are father - infant bonding, masculine identity, gender policing and gender division of labor. I will also attempt to understand how these concepts apply to my father’s life and shaped his masculinity and in turn my own.
My father and I don’t share the best relationship in the world in fact we barely talk at all. This bring to mind to a key concept raised in the literature by Barry S Hewett in his article The Cultural Nexus of The Aka Father- Infant Bonding. In which he discussed how close and intimate the fathers of the Aka tribe the southern Central Africa and the Northern Congo region. He contrasted the role the Aka fathers play with respect to American fathers (p 48). Whist studying the Aka people he observed that the Aka men spent a considerable amount of time with their children and invested a great deal into their lives and upbringing. The Aka tribe lives in a strong egalitarian society, where men, woman and children are all respected. Their main hunting technique is netting in which all members of the aforementioned groups are involved. In his observations Mr. Hewett observed that Aka fathers, held, played with and nurtured their children considerably more than American fathers (p 4...

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...e the concept of work as an important factor in shaping a man’s identity, men are suppose be good at doing ‘hard’ work and women good at house work, because men are expected to go out and work to provide for their families as my father stated and women stay at home and be house makers.

In conclusion if it’s one thing I learnt from this course thus far and this assignment is masculinity is very difficult to define and there is more one definition which can encompass every man, as each man has his own definition of masculinity. Also being a man takes a lot “hard work” no pun intended, even though men are stereotyped as having to work hard to provide for their families the kind of work I’m talking about is not manual labor it is, emotional and psychological work to meet the ideals of what society dictates you should be, as well as your own ideologies of being a man.
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