Fathering in current times : a thematic analysis of Botswanan men’s fatherhood experiences.
Ramonkga, Botho Nanvula.
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There is a clear shortage of studies that explore how fatherhood is constructed and experienced in Botswana. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to explore how Botswanan men construct fatherhood. The philosophical and methodological premise of social constructionism was adopted to frame the study. A thematic analysis of data, collected using qualitative interviews of Botswanan fathers aged between 21- 45 years, identified a number of central themes: “construction of Botswanan fatherhood”, “positioning in relation to others”, “types of fathering”, “doing fathering differently” and “factors influencing fatherhood.” This study argues that fatherhood is dependent on prevalent discourses within society and is dynamic. Most men who took part in the study drew on wider cultural discourses such as the provider and disciplinarian roles to construct fatherhood and renegotiate wider historical discourses and incorporated them in new ways. Their roles extended beyond simply being the provider and disciplinarian and included emotional care and good communication. Another argument is that historical cultural views can be reinforced at the very same time that aspects of them are being challenged. This study showed that although most fathers challenged the role of the father as provider and disciplinarian, they reverted very strongly to traditional cultural and religious positions that the father should be heterosexual.