Title page for ETD etd-04082010-111625

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Van Zyl, Izelle
URN etd-04082010-111625
Document Title Single fathers' experience of fatherhood
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr L H Human Supervisor
  • fatherhood
  • single parenthood
  • single fatherhood
  • father-child relationship
  • experience
  • narrative inquiry
  • cultural context
  • historical context
  • narrative analysis
  • reflexivity
Date 2009-04-30
Availability restricted

In recent years various factors have contributed to the dissolution of the traditional family and the subsequent emergence of alternative family systems like the single parent family. Single parent families have become a reality in our society, a fact reflected by statistics which indicate an increase in the occurrence of single parent families over the last couple of years. However, the single parent family is still mostly perceived as consisting of the mother and her children, rather than the father and his children. Research narratives seem to support the single-parenthood-equals-single-motherhood plot in that there is an abundance of single parent accounts in the literature that mostly tell the stories of single mothers. Thus, fathers who find themselves in the position of single father seem to be marginalised in society and stories regarding their experiences are few and far between. The aim of this project was to explore and describe how single fathers in South Africa experience fatherhood by focussing on their personal narratives. Therefore the research inquiry for this project took the form of a narrative inquiry which provides a way to understand people’s experiences by privileging their stories. The researcher conducted unstructured interviews with participants to produce languaged data which were analysed using a narrative analysis strategy. A narrative analysis aims to investigate not merely the content of the story, but rather the story itself and the way in which it is told within a specific cultural and historical context. Hopefully, in the telling, listening and retelling of their stories these fathers’ voices will become more pronounced in the research narratives and thus contribute to the body of knowledge pertaining to single fatherhood.

Copyright © 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Van Zyl, I 2008, Single fathers' experience of fatherhood, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04082010-111625/ >

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