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The Changing Culture of Fatherhood in Comic-Strip Families: A Six-Decade Analysis

Ralph LaRossa, Charles Jaret, Malati Gadgil and G. Robert Wynn
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 62, No. 2 (May, 2000), pp. 375-387
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1566746
Page Count: 13
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The Changing Culture of Fatherhood in Comic-Strip Families: A Six-Decade Analysis
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Abstract

A content analysis of 490 Father's Day and Mother's Day comic strips published from 1940 to 1999 indicates that the culture of fatherhood has fluctuated since World War II. "Incompetent" fathers appeared frequently in the late 1940s, early 1950s, and late 1960s but were rarer in the late 1950s, early and late 1970s, early 1980s, and early 1990s. Fathers who were mocked were especially common in the early and late 1960s and early 1980s but were less common in the late 1940s, early and late 1950s, and early and late 1970s. Fathers who were nurturant and supportive toward children were most evident in the late 1940s, early 1950s, and early and late 1990s, with the longitudinal pattern resembling a U-shaped curve. Differences between fathers and mothers also oscillated from one decade to the next.

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